Currents- Names to Know, Atlanta Catalyst Magazine, March, 2002
“He’s Come From Alabama”
By Robert J. Nebel
When the Georgia Board of Regents embarked on a nationwide search for a new Chancellor, the members knew they had a daunting task ahead of them. They were looking for a leader fueled with a desire to increase student participation in Georgia’s institutes of higher learning.
After combing the fruited plain, the Board arrived upon Chancellor Thomas Carter Meredith in tranquil Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he excelled as one of the country’s top chancellors. Dr. Meredith’s resume is rich in experience, accolades, and committee appointments.
“I am honored to have been recruited for such an esteemed position,” says Meredith, who realizes that his professional honeymoon will be short-lived. Dr. Meredith comes from a three-school system with a $1.8 billion annual budget to a system of thirty-four institutions with an annual budget of $4.5 billon. “My biggest challenge will be to get up to speed quickly,” admits Meredith.
This Owensboro, Kentucky native feels that he possesses the strength to deal with complex issues facing education in Georgia. He credits early inspirations including family, faith and educators. “It has all shaped my character and made me who I am today,” Meredith explains.
Dr. Meredith is also committed to producing more future Georgia entrepreneurs. “I look forward to strengthening the overall existing business curriculum in Georgia’s universities as well as ICAPP (Intellectual Capital-Partnership Program), a collection of programs ranging from university database access (via the Internet) to needs assessment programs,” he says.
Georgia’s top politicos work closely with the Chancellor on several fronts including funding and educational structure. Dr. Meredith goes on to state, “I have met with Governor Barnes, who by my estimation is an exceptional leader. Also, I am overly impressed with (Georgia House Speaker) Tom Murphy.”
Meredith will be making the move from a sleepy Southern college town to the hub of the Southeast. “It will certainly be an adjustment, but I plan to take advantage of all that Atlanta has to offer-the theater, symphony and most importantly, SEC football,” he boasts.
The new Chancellor will find creative ways to balance his leisure activities with work. As he thumbs through his 2002 calendar, Meredith chuckles and says, “Well, I have a (Georgia Board of) Regents meeting on my wedding anniversary. Looks like Susan (Meredith’s wife) and I will be going to a Hawks game that evening to share a hot dog!”
(C)Leader Publishing, 2002
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