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UNG holding town hall meeting Thursday
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

* What: University of North Georgia community town halL

* When: 6 p.m. Thursday

* Where: UNG Cumming Campus, 300 Aquatic Circle

* Cost: Free

* For more information, go to

CUMMING -- The public is invited to provide input on plans for the future of the University of North Georgia.

Representatives from the university — which includes a campus on Aquatic Circle in Cumming, as well as sites in Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee County — are presenting a series of community town hall meetings as part of a strategic planning process.

The local meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday in room 125 of the Cumming building at 300 Aquatic Circle.

Other meetings are planned for 6 p.m. Monday at the Dahlonega campus, Tuesday at the Gainesville site, and the Oconee campus on March 10.

In a statement, UNG President Bonita C. Jacobs described the community meetings as a vital part of the college’s planning process.

“Our university has a major impact on the economy, work force and culture of this region, and we need to be both responsive and proactive in meeting the needs of the state, this region and the country,” she said.

“As we seek to provide a high-quality education to our students and serve the northeast Georgia region, it is vital that our faculty, staff and students and the members of the community have opportunities to provide their input and share their opinions.”

Andrew J. Leavitt, vice president for university advancement and professor of chemistry, is leading the community portion of the strategic planning process.

“A strategic plan without community input is only half a plan,” he said in a statement. “Gathering input from people outside of the university will be critical for the committee to develop a strategic plan that best serves the university and our communities.”

Additional meetings will be held throughout the semester to gather input from faculty, staff and students of the university’s various campuses.

“We will be sure that the conversation reaches out to every nook and cranny,” said J.B. Sharma, professor and assistant department of head of physics, who is chair of the planning committee.

“If there is a personal buy-in at every level, it will translate into success over the long term, so it is very important that people have a sense that they spoke up and were heard.”

The committee, which will continue to meet throughout the semester, will later split into various subgroups to shape the strategic themes identified in the various stakeholder meetings into an initial draft of the plan.

That draft must be submitted to university leadership by April 30.