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UNG President Shannon Calls for “Disruption and Accountability” at Investiture

Chaz Mullis
Presidents and notable figures from the University System of Georgia attended the investiture for President Shannon.

The University of North Georgia marked a historic moment on Friday, Nov. 10, as Dr. Michael P. Shannon was officially installed as the institution’s 21st president. The investiture ceremony took place at the Convocation Center on UNG’s Dahlonega Campus, drawing presidents from various Georgia universities, alongside an assembly of students, faculty, and community members.

In his inaugural address, President Shannon addressed the challenges facing higher education in the current landscape of hyper-competition and evolving perceptions of the value of a college degree. Reflecting on a decade of sustained growth and momentum at UNG, he posed the pivotal question, “Now what?” President Shannon articulated his commitment to a student-centric approach, emphasizing that the university’s strategy is rooted in the shared value that “our students always come first.”

President Shannon outlined his vision for elevating college participation, highlighting the transformative potential of the college years. “Universities should create experiences that cultivate curiosity, unlock in every student what they don’t know about themselves, and help every student determine the best version of themselves,” Shannon said.

The president unveiled UNG’s seven strategic “big bets,” emphasizing their role in ensuring the institution’s relevance and forward momentum.

“Our seven strategic ‘big bets’ provide the opportunity in which we will remain relevant, plant our flag, boldly move forward, and run into our calling.” – UNG President Michael P. Shannon

To address the increasing non-consumption rate in the 30 counties served by UNG, President Shannon identified three keys to elevate college participation: calling, change, and commitment. He underscored UNG’s calling to “attack non-consumption” and encourage young learners that “college changes everything.” Embracing innovation as a means of relevance, President Shannon declared, “We will innovate, or we will become irrelevant. We will change in order to respond. Disruption and accountability will be our lead story.”

President Shannon concluded with a clear directive, encapsulating his philosophy on university priorities.

“If it doesn’t have something to do about students or for students, we’re not doing it.” – UNG President Michael P. Shannon

The investiture ceremony marked not only the beginning of Shannon’s presidency but also signaled a renewed commitment to UNG’s mission of fostering student success and engagement.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia named Shannon as UNG’s president on June 1, and he took office July 1. A retired U.S. Army officer, President Shannon most recently served as interim executive vice president for Administration and Finance and interim chief business officer at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Chaz Mullis
Chaz Mullis, Staff Editor
Big fan of movies, music, hiking, and writing.
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