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Dear friends:

I’ve been privileged to see the phenomenal growth at Georgia Southern University for more than 15 years, and each year I am amazed by our ability to eclipse the growth and achievements of the year before. The 2014-2015 fiscal year was no exception, and as I begin my time as your president, I want to celebrate our year of accomplishments, and to recognize Dr. Brooks Keel for his contribution to this University and the trajectory of success he leaves behind.

I believe we will continue this trajectory with dedication and commitment to student success. It is student success that drives us forward, and our efforts are being recognized on a national scale. In its list of “Best Online Graduate Education Programs,” U.S. News and World Report ranked our College of Education 75th out of 252 schools offering online graduate education. The magazine also ranked our College of Business Administration in the top 20 schools in the nation for its Online MBA program and in the top 25 for its graduate programs. In addition, rated our Fashion Merchandising program 49th in the nation, and our list of rankings continues to grow. You can view all of them on the Georgia Southern Points of Pride website.

This recognition, along with the efforts of our distinguished faculty continues to further the University’s research opportunities through grants. Georgia Southern received more than $11.8 million in grants this fiscal year, including $950,000 from the National Science Foundation and a $2.2 million grant to establish a Center for Nursing Scholarship and Research in the School of Nursing.

The campus is expanding as well. The University began construction on a new state-of-the-art Health Services facility, providing better health care services to our students. We also received funding from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and our Georgia legislators for a new $9.5 million Military Science Building for our growing Army-affiliated ROTC program. We completed an $8.65 million renovation to Sanford Hall, a former dormitory that is now a state-of-the-art Communication Arts building. In addition, The Georgia Southern Golf Course was recently named one of the “Best New Courses” by Golf Digest and a new Shooting Sports Education Center will open in the fall of this year.

Our university has invested in student success and our students have responded with excellence and achievements. Azell Francis, an international graduate student in engineering and SGA president, won the 2015 Regent Willis J. Potts Student Advisory Council Leadership Award for her outstanding leadership among SGA presidents from across the university system. Matthew Horne, an international studies major and member of the ROTC, was ranked fourth among the top 10 cadets in the country on the national Order of Merit List. Finally, students from the Multimedia Development Center won a Student Emmy® Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for its production of the Wounded Eagle Project video. There are many more stories of outstanding student achievements just like these all across campus.

This growth cannot happen apart from engaged donors and alumni. This year, University supporters gave a record total of $2.2 million on A Day for Southern, the Recreation Activity Center was named for former University President and First Lady Bruce and Kathryn Grube for their generous gift and the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art received a $500,000 gift from the estate of Gov. Carl Sanders. Our alumni base continues to grow with 64,690 of our alumni living in and around the state of Georgia and the remaining 14,446 living throughout the U.S. and the world.

This 2014-15 President’s annual report offers a just a snapshot of some of the accomplishments and milestones made by our faculty, staff, students and community. I am proud of all that we have achieved and I look forward to continued success in the years to come.

We will not stand still during my time as interim president. This coming year will be full of amazing opportunities to help students turn their possibilities into reality. You would expect nothing less from the Greatest University in America.

J. Bartels Signature

Jean E. Bartels, Ph.D., RN

Interim President


Student success remains the heart of what we do at Georgia Southern. It is the quest for student success that drives us to provide our students with cutting-edge classrooms, laboratories and technology –  all of which provide a foundation for them to transform possibilities into reality. They are supported and taught by a world-class faculty, many of whom lead in groundbreaking innovation and research, shining a national light on the University through their work while allowing their students to participate in their endeavors.

This year was an exceptional year for academics at Georgia Southern. Our existing programs are accredited with the most prestigious agencies in the country, we continue to expand our programs and course offerings, and we are building the facilities necessary to house them. The future is bright for students at Georgia Southern.

Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology

College of Business Administration

College of Education

College of Health and Human Sciences

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

College of Science and Mathematics

Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Zach S. Henderson Library


At Georgia Southern, we strongly emphasize and support the robust and innovative scholarly and creative research that is being conducted by faculty and students in all eight academic colleges – research that is helping to transform the profile of this university. Our talented faculty members are driving their disciplines forward as they prepare, guide and train the innovators and job creators of tomorrow. We provide numerous research opportunities that allow our undergraduate and graduate students to work collaboratively, use advanced technology and gain practical hands-on experience in the classroom, in laboratories and in the real world. The quality of research at Georgia Southern University has never been stronger.


This year has been another year of tremendous growth for Georgia Southern, and we could not have achieved it without the many alumni and friends who have supported us. In a time when many colleges and universities have found themselves with fewer and fewer state and federal resources, Georgia Southern, too, has come to rely on the philanthropic giving of its many alumni and friends to help us reach our goals. This year, our donors have proven themselves committed to the University’s vision and mission, and have helped us raise unprecedented funding for Georgia Southern, its students and its programs.


Information Technology Services works continually to stay abreast of new technologies in support of pedagogical, research and administrative endeavors across the University campus. Information technology lies at the heart of nearly all functions such as safety, scholarship, research and myriad others on our large, diverse campus. During the 2014-2015 academic year IT Services continued to introduce new, and improve existing, technology resources on which the University community depends.


As the University grows, so does the work of the Division of Business and Finance. Georgia Southern’s growth demands the department work even harder to manage infrastructure, public safety, human resources and budgetary support for faculty, staff and students. This year, the Division saw an increase in facility development, faculty and staff support, and a focus on the safety and well-being of our students.

Office of Public Safety

Human Resources



Georgia Southern University is devoted to meeting the needs of students by providing outstanding environments for academics, teaching, scholarship and service. We enrolled more than 20,500 undergraduate and graduate students from 48 states and 88 countries during the 2014-15 academic year. The average SAT score of our freshman class was 1113, and our campus is more diverse and welcoming than ever, with increasing numbers of transfer, military veterans and non-traditional students. The Division of Students Affairs and Enrollment Management is dedicated to providing high quality programs that actively engage students. This past year, there were extensive opportunities for students to exchange ideas, opinions, and engage in intellectual discussions across campus and elsewhere. Here are a just few examples of those experiences.


Earlier this year, the Division of External Affairs was created. The Division includes University protocol, government relations and community engagement as well as the Office of Marketing and Communications.

In August, Trip Addison was appointed Vice President for External Affairs.


Georgia Southern’s 16 varsity sports made a significant impact in the University’s first season in the Sun Belt Conference. The football team and men’s golf team won Conference championships, and the men’s basketball team fell just three points shy of winning the basketball tournament title in the first 20-win season since the 2005-06 campaign.

Georgia Southern University’s student-athletes continued to achieve in the classroom, tying a school record with a 2.97 GPA for the 2014-15 academic year and posting the highest semester GPA (3.06) in University student-athlete history in the spring semester. In addition, more than half of the varsity programs posted a 3.0 team GPA in either the fall or spring semester, and the football team and men’s basketball teams set records with their highest semester GPA in program history. In other academic achievement, 72 Eagle student-athletes were selected for the Dean’s List in the fall and 77 in the spring. There were 40 President’s List selections in the fall and 39 in the spring.

When not competing on the playing field or working toward their degree in the classroom, Georgia Southern student-athletes spent more than 1,500 hours helping to raise funds and awareness by participating in community and campus events that included Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Special Olympics and Relay for Life. They also visited schools to participate in reading programs like Real Men Read and did other volunteer work at local schools and nursing care centers.

The success Georgia Southern achieved on the playing field, in the classroom and in the community helped the Athletic Foundation raise over $2 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year.