Valdosta Daily Times

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November 14, 2013

Student enrollment dropping at Ga. universities

ATLANTA — Fall enrollment at Georgia’s 31 public colleges has declined by nearly 4,900 students since fall of 2012, university system officials said Wednesday.

About 309,500 students enrolled in courses for the semester, according to the University System of Georgia’s Fall 2013 Enrollment Report. Of that number, about 274,500 students are taking a full course load.

The enrollment decline translates to an approximate 1.6 percent drop in the state’s overall student body, officials said. Enrollment between fall 2011 and 2012 fell by 1.2 percent.

“As we have noted to the Board of Regents and the institutional presidents, this enrollment decline reflects a national trend in higher education that has a number of contributing factors, including demographics, the economy and, frankly some price sensitivity,” university system Chancellor Hank Huckaby said in a release.

“In addition, here in Georgia, over two years ago the Board adopted higher admissions requirements related to remedial courses that have affected university system enrollment, primarily at our access colleges,” he said.

University system officials also announced changes to the leadership of the 19-member Board of Regents.

The board elected Philip Wilheit Sr. as the board’s chairman and Neil Pruitt as the board’s vice chairman.

Wilheit is president of Wilheit Packaging and Marketing Images and Pruitt is the CEO of UHS-Pruitt Corporation, an assisted living health care company.

Wilheit has served on the Georgia Department of Economic Development Commission and the Commission for a New Georgia. He also served on the state Board of Education between 1996 and 1999, and spent more than 40 years as a member of the Hall County Chamber of Commerce.

Pruitt earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of the South and earned master degrees in business administration and health administration from Georgia State University in 2000. Pruitt has served as chair of the American Health Care Association and is also a board member of the United Hospice Foundation.

Wilheit and Pruitt will each serve one-year terms.

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