UGA Pres. returns homes to Albany

Michael Adams

"We're fighting the same battles that a lot of people are fighting, a lot of families are fighting," said Michael Adams. "It's been an especially tough 3 year period."

That was part of the message University of Georgia President Michael Adams delivered to the Albany Rotary Club on Thursday.

UGA is a billion and a half dollar per year operation with over 10,000 employees and nearly 35,000 students.

But size has not shielded it from a state government looking to save money wherever it can.

"The University's budget has been cut by about 100 million dollars a year in just the last year or so," said Vic Sullivan, President of the UGA Alumni Association.

Those cuts make it difficult to compete at the highest level of academics both in terms of students and faculty.

"We've had to depend more on parents and students," said Adams. "Tuition has gone up. Gifts. Outside research support. We're doing what everyone's doing â" scraping for resources."

Dr. Adams' speech at Doublegate focused on the University of Georgia's history and financial future. But anytime you talk UGA, it's impossible not to talk UGA football.

It's been an especially tough year for the Dawgs and their fans, starting with the firing of Athletic Director Damon Evans and a team with double the number of arrests, 11, than wins, 5.

"Virtually every team in the conference in the 14 years in the conference in the 14 years I've been here has had a down year," said Adams. "Remember that 99% of our students and our student athletes â" who number almost 600 â" are everyday doing exactly what they should be doing."

Alumni Debbie Finney has two daughters that are also UGA graduates and thinks all students should be expected to make a certain amount of mistakes.

"That's part of growing up and going off to college is learning how to do it on your own because someday, we all have to get to that point," said Finney.