The University of Georgia’s president gave his final update on the state of the college Thursday, and Michael Adams was a bit freer with his words than over the last 16 years.
Adams confessed to feeling more liberty to share his opinions this year, given his retirement in June.
He defended his tenure in the speech, noting some critics have said he tried to do too much or “cracked too many eggs” in pursuing his agenda.
Adams also said athletics shouldn’t be the tail the wags the dog of the university.
“The academic establishment has to control the athletic establishment, not the other way around,” he said. “Last year's troubling news out of Penn State made that quite clear.”
Adams said the state needs to expand public medical education and biomedical research to make Georgia healthier and address a doctor shortage.
“We remain dramatically behind in every measurable health-care ranking, from lack of physicians and researchers to lack of biomedical and pharmaceutical companies to disturbingly high levels of diabetes, obesity, Parkinson's, heart trouble, cancer and infant mortality,” he said.
Adams said UGA has an obligation to help the state get healthier since it is Georgia’s land-grant university. He also suggested creating a College of Fine Arts and a School of Marine Science at UGA.
“Coastal and water issues will become even more critical in the decades to come, and a focused, active School of Marine Science has much to offer both the University of Georgia and the state of Georgia,” Adams said.
Adams retires at the end of June. A search committee has been interviewing nine candidates this month for his job.