USG chancellor Dr. Wrigley announces retirement

The University System of Georgia will be saying farewell to its chancellor, Dr. Steve Wrigley, on July 1. Dr. Wrigley has served the USG as chancellor for three years and worked in public service for 36 years. Although he has only served as chancellor for 3 years, Dr. Wrigley held the position of vice chancellor of the USG from 2011 until his appointment as chancellor in 2017.

“Chancellor Steve Wrigley has served as the 13 Chancellor of the University System of Georgia since 2017,” said President Don Green, “It has been a pleasure to work with him in that time. Chancellor Wrigley and the Board of Regents continue to support the efforts of Georgia Highlands College and its primary mission to provide affordable access to a college degree across northwest Georgia.”

Green continued, “The continuous support of the chancellor, the USG and the Board of Regents help make it possible for GHC to remain a place where high-quality curriculums did instruction are provided at one of the lowest tuition rates in the country. I know I extend appreciation from both GHC and our surrounding communities when I say how thankful we all have been for Chancellor Wrigley’s devotion to college affordability and efficiency.”

Dr. Wrigley has worked with the USG to serve its students. By consolidating 36 colleges in Georgia into 26, he saved an estimated $30 million, which was then reinvested into the USG and its programs. During his residency, the USG has seen a nearly 10 point raise in four-year graduation rates. Dr. Wrigley also has been a major proponent of increasing the usage of low-cost or free textbooks and ebooks for students, alongside utilizing eCore programs more heavily.

Tara Mathis, a Cartersville campus student-faculty, said, “A lot of classes are trying to get out of having students pay so much for textbooks,” Mathis continued, “all my textbooks are online for the most part… and that’s really great for students who pay out of pocket. And then tuition, it is a lot lower than what it could be. As far as Wrigley retiring, it’s great, but it makes me wonder what’s going to change and if they do, how much are they going to change.”

The USG is currently embarking on the search for the next chancellor and has formed the Regents Search Advisory Group to perform a national search.

Cartersville student, Whitney Harris, said, “The state of Georgia has been blessed to have him as our chancellor and to have him serve as long as he did. A person who has worked in the system for as long as he has should be recognized… I believe that person will also do a great job. Everyone is placed in a position for a reason. I wish the best of luck to both of them.”

“I appreciate his efforts for cheapening the costs,” said Cartersville student Fernando Juarez, “I have high hopes for his next successor.”

Before working with the USG, Dr. Wrigley served as the Chief of Staff to governor Zell Miller and assisted in the creation of the HOPE Scholarship. Dr. Wrigley will be leaving his position as chancellor with 36 years of public service behind him.