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Board of Regents OK's Morehead as UGA president
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ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia Board of Regents voted unanimously Monday to hire University of Georgia Provost Jere Morehead to succeed Michael Adams as university president.

Board members voted 18-0 to hire Morehead, a 1980 graduate of the University of Georgia Law School, who also served as senior vice president for academic affairs. He becomes the 22nd president of the university and is set to start on July 1.

Board of Regents Chair William "Dink" H. NeSmith Jr. praised Morehead for his dedication and passion to the university and its students.

"He has tremendous challenges ahead and the Board will support him as he works to strengthen UGA's programs," NeSmith 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.

Adams, who has praised Morehead for his integrity and institutional knowledge of the university, is set to retire in June.

Morehead said he plans to spend the next few months evaluating the university's strengths and weaknesses and meeting with key groups, while considering possible organizational changes and beginning preparations for a "major capital campaign."

"Becoming President of the University of Georgia is a dream come true for a UGA graduate who has spent more than half of his life on this campus," Morehead said in a statement. "While the University of Georgia faces economic challenges, if we focus on our academic priorities we will reach new heights. The university is poised, thanks to the quality of the faculty, staff, and students, to become one of the greatest public universities in the United States."

Morehead also serves as vice chair of the Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors, vice chair of the UGA Research Foundation, a UGA Foundation Trustee, and a UGA Real Estate Foundation Trustee.

University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby called Monday's vote "the right decision for UGA."

"Our students will be in excellent hands under his leadership," Huckaby said. "Jere will bring the vision and energy essential to UGA advancing its land grant mission."