Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Georgia Southern University President Bruce Grube Stepping Down

Bruce Grube has announced that he is stepping down as President of Georgia Southern University effective June 30, 2009. On July 1, 2009, Grube will take one year of educational leave to prepare to return to the classroom as a professor of Political Science for the 2010-2011 academic year at Georgia Southern University.

In addition to preparing to return to the classroom, Grube will also serve as a consultant and mentor with the University System of Georgia where he will work with new and newer presidents within the 35-school state system. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia will begin a national search to replace Grube.

Grube began his tenure as the 11th President of Georgia Southern University July 1, 1999. During his presidency, Georgia Southern University has undergone the greatest increase in academic quality, and the greatest expansion of physical facilities than during any other comparable period in the history of the institution.

“It has certainly been an honor beyond words for my wife Kathryn and me to have served at Georgia Southern University,” Grube said.

Grube recently informed the University System of Georgia of his plans to step down as president next year, providing the University time to complete a search and transition to a new president. “While I have enjoyed serving as President, I am excited to begin this next chapter in my life. Kathryn and I are looking forward to spending more time with friends and family.”

Timing played a role in his decision. “It is the right time for the University. The University’s strategic plan has been developed and put into action, numerous construction projects are underway and a new president will have the opportunity to come in and not only build upon what the University has already accomplished, but take Georgia Southern to new a level. An experienced leadership team is in place and we have an outstanding base of alumni, friends and supporters not only at the institution, but in the community, the state of Georgia and throughout the country.”

University System of Georgia executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer Susan Herbst, applauded Grube’s service, “During Dr. Grube’s tenure, Georgia Southern University has made tremendous progress in nearly all areas. He has expanded university facilities, beautified the campus, introduced the most sophisticated practices in higher education, and inspired his faculty, staff and students. Most important has been his keen and unyielding focus on academic excellence and achievement.”

President Grube is a bold leader and a true intellectual; he has made Georgia Southern University one of the real success stories in academe today. We will miss him immensely. Dr. Grube has served as a visionary leader, not only for Georgia Southern, but the University System as well. His work has benefited and will continue to propel the entire system forward.”

Academic Success

Grube’s tenure has been marked by records in enrollment, academic quality, fundraising and retention. He has increased student enrollment by more than 3,200 full-time students during the past 10 years and the composite SAT score for incoming freshman has risen 124 points with the Fall 2008 class scoring a record 1111. In addition, the University has increased its student retention rate, a key measure of academic and University quality, from 69 percent to a record 81 percent this past fall. Under Grube’s leadership, Georgia Southern University was designated a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University and the institution has been featured in U.S. News &World Report’s Best Colleges guide. In addition, the institution was recently named one of the Top 100 Best Values by Kiplinger. While at Georgia Southern, Grube also oversaw the introduction of new ways to learn. The first Internet-based courses were introduced in 1999 and the University now offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees online via Georgia Southern University Online. A student may now also earn a full engineering degree while never leaving Georgia Southern University’s campus through a unique relationship with the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), while previously their only option was to take two years here before transferring to another institution. The Honors endowment has attracted significant support from donors, and the rapid growth of qualified applicants has ensured its success.

Perhaps one of the most visible additions has been the creation of two new colleges: the College of Information Technology, the only one of its kind in the Southeast, and the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health. Both have greatly expanded the University’s ability to offer unique and innovative programs that are not only in high demand, but result in the continued improvement in the quality of life in the Southeast.

Funding for the Future

Another remarkable accomplishment is the doubling of the amount of scholarships funded through the Georgia Southern Foundation, Inc. In 1999, scholarships totaled $644,000. In 2007, the Foundation distributed $1.3 million to deserving scholars. Georgia Southern University’s Campaign for National Distinction, between 2001 and 2006, set a new standard for private support, more than tripling the highest amount ever raised in a capital campaign collecting $53.1 million. In addition, thanks to private sector support, the University Foundation’s permanent endowment has grown from just more than $21 million in 2000 to nearly $40 million today. Finally, during the past 10 years, Georgia Southern has raised more $1 million each year through the A Day for Southern campaign.

Building for Growth

During the past decade, more than one billion dollars in capital has been invested in the growing campus. In fact, Georgia Southern has enjoyed a boom in new construction and building re-use since 1999. The College of Education building opened in 2000 and was followed in rapid succession by other academic and support buildings. Public service was given a huge boost when the expanded Nesmith-Lane building and its 825-seat Performing Arts Center opened in 2002.

One of the most visible additions to campus is the Zach S. Henderson Library. Serving as the center of campus, the University began a massive expansion of the facility and has since renovated the original structure. When complete, it will be among the finest university libraries in the Southeast.

Other major building projects completed during Grube’s tenure have included the College of Information Technology, building, the Nursing/Chemistry building, the Center for Art & Theatre, the Soccer and Track facility, the Gene Bishop building and the Bennett-Ramsey Golf Center.

Grube has also led projects to expand on-campus living. Residence halls like Southern Courtyard, Southern Pines and Eagle Village have set new standards for student housing. An even higher benchmark will soon be raised when the 1,001-bed Centennial Place is complete. It will feature recreational spaces and even retail shops on the ground floor.

On the Field

Another aspect of Georgia Southern’s success in the past 10 years is the excitement and institutional loyalty of students, faculty, staff and alumni brought about by athletics. Since 1999, Georgia Southern has enjoyed great athletic successes by both teams and individuals. Some of the accomplishments include two NCAA championships in football, two Walter Payton award winners, multiple NCAA tournament and playoff appearances, Southern Conference championships and a cheerleading national championship.

More recently, Grube launched a study to research the feasibility of moving its football program to the Football Bowl Subdivision. While President, Grube has served as Chair of the Council of Presidents of the Southern Conference and as Vice Chair of the Council of Presidents of the North Central Conference. He is currently a member of the NCAA Executive Committee and Division I Board of Directors. He also serves as Chair of the NCAA Division I Presidential Advisory Group.

“As I begin this next phase of my life, I will never forget the people or the students of Georgia Southern University. It has been an honor,” said Grube. Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers more than 110 degree programs serving nearly 18,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.

Quoting Bruce Grube

“I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be involved with engaged colleagues in the efforts that have resulted in such positive changes.”

“It has been an honor to work with the very supportive Statesboro and Bulloch County community—both the people and the leadership.”

“Without the team at Georgia Southern University and without the University community, the achievements of the past ten years could not have been realized. The University is clearly positioned to continue its vigorous progress, and it is a strong institution.”

“I have been very fortunate and lucky to have spent these past 10 years as President at Georgia Southern University. These have been the most rewarding years of my career.”

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