The Georgia Board of Regents quickly voted 18-0 to hire Morehead, who is the current provost and a 1980 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law. He also as senior vice president for academic affairs. He will start his new job on July 1.
Morehead says he’ll assemble a small team to help him transition into the new role after Adams retires at the end of June, and will focus on nurturing relationships with lawmakers, other school presidents, students and alumni.
“I plan to devote much of the next five months to evaluating our strengths and weaknesses now from a different perspective,” Morehead said Monday afternoon, adding that he aims to make the university less bureaucratic and more responsive to students and faculty concerns.
“I’m going to spend a great deal of time thinking about the organizational structure of the University of Georgia,” he said. “I think in these economic times, you need to demonstrate a belief in a lean machine that gets the job of the university done with as few bureaucratic layers as possible.”
Morehead, 56, says it is too early to elaborate on whether tweaking the university’s organizational structure could translate to certain positions or offices being eliminated or consolidated.
Following the announcement Monday, Morehead said his short-term goal is to help the school hire qualified deans for several vacant positions and continue attracting top-tier students. Morehead Monday also emphasized the importance of focusing on the school’s academic priorities — including the construction of a center for molecular medicine — and fundraising efforts early during his term as president.
“If I’m a successful president, I will have led us through the largest capital campaign in the history of the University of Georgia,” he said.
A presidential search committee named Morehead as the sole finalist for the position last week. In mid-December the committee, headed by attorney and former state lawmaker Larry Walker, announced the field had been narrowed to nine candidates — five of whom were college presidents.