UGA President Michael Adams was in Macon Monday and stopped by The Telegraph for about an hour. Most of this isn't new news, but it is interesting. The newspaper version of this story is here.
He'd like to raise tuition. Between the hit the university's endowment took in the stock market and state budget cuts, Adams said "there are no more rabbits in the hat" and that layoffs are next if the state makes more cuts.
The Board of Regents already did away with the "fixed for four" tuition lock-in, but Adams said we're still too low.
"Alabama is $3,000 more a year. ..." he said. "You can be too good a buy."
He's likely against banning smoking campus-wide: A proposal to do so is "in the university committee structure," but Adams said he hasn't decided whether he'd sign off on a ban, if it makes it to his desk.
"When you start telling people they can't smoke or use any other legal product... somebody's going to need to make an argument to me that it's harming other people (outside)," he said.
Adams has already signed off on measures to ban smoking in university buildings and at Sanford Stadium.
East Campus smell to improve: A new sewage plant under construction near College Station Road should "eliminate rather than reduce" the strong smell that sometimes permeates parts east campus and the surrounding area, Adams said.
The new plant should be online in early 2012, according to The Athens Banner-Herald. It's one of three Athens Clarke County plants being rebuilt by the local government, the newspaper has reported.
The Butts-Mehre expansion ground breaking will be the day of the South Carolina game.
Sanford Bridge reassurances: Adams said he expects the Sanford Drive Bridge to remain open with its view into the stadium intact. He said the next expansion of the stadium would be along the top of the eastern end zone stands.
"I think if I closed (the bridge) end of the stadium the alumni would go nuts. ..." he said. "The tying of that stadium to the campus is part of the lore of that place."
He'd like to see Tim Tebow graduate. He also said The Dawgs "could" beat Florida this year and threw out 28-20 for a prediction.
Furloughs and closing buildings: Talk about some campus buildings, such as the Miller student center, closing on furlough days is "pure rumor," Adams said. The planned furlough days for university employees are Oct. 30, Nov. 25, Dec. 24, Jan. 4, March 8 and April 30.
On retirement: Adams said he doesn't have an exit plan, but he recently turned 60 expects to leave the university in "another four or five or six years."
Also, he was wearing braces.
The Lumpkin Street area: Adams still favors closing a portion of Lumpkin Street near Baxter Street and building a landscaped mall there. Traffic would be routed over to Pulaski Street, but those plans "haven't gone any where," he said.
Several new buildings are planned further north along Lumpkin where the university recently bought fraternity buildings, including new business school buildings.
The university is also buying up the public housing units along Baxter Street, a bit at a time, to make room for future expansion, he said.
Campus will continue to grow on the east side near the Ramsey Center with the focus in that area being on residential and recreational buildings. There are plans for a new bridge across the North Oconee in that area as well as a riverwalk.
You can get all kinds of master plan documents from the university here, and the East Campus plan shows part of the loop around Ramsey closing in favor of new housing.