Rob Watts

The Covington News - - Opinion -

Last week, Rob Watts, in­terim pres­i­dent of Ge­or­gia Perime­ter Col­lege, stopped by our of­fice to in­tro­duce him­self and dis­cuss the past, present and fu­ture of the two-year col­lege. (For a full re­port on that con­ver­sa­tion and a look at how the col­lege is try­ing to get back on track, visit Cov­News.com.)

Watts was ap­pointed by Univer­sity Sys­tem of Ge­or­gia Chan­cel­lor Hank Huck­aby to clean up the fi­nan­cial mess left by ousted pres­i­dent An­thony Tri­coli, who grew the col­lege, but at the price of a $16 mil­lion past deficit that was sched­uled to grow an­other $9 mil­lion if Watts hadn’t stepped in.

We’re glad Watts was there to right the ship and put the col­lege back on the path to pros­per­ity.

As we have stated many times in this space, the ex­is­tence of Ge­or­gia Perime­ter Col­lege here in New­ton County is a boon, and, more than any other cam­pus, the lo­cal lo­ca­tion is primed to growth as only half of its 100-acre prop­erty is cur­rently be­ing used. If the col­lege re­gains its foot­ing, we can ex­pect to see more in­vest­ment and more ed­u­cated adults com­ing to New­ton County.

In right­ing the ship, Watts has made ma­jor cuts, but tried his best not to hin­der the col­lege’s main mis­sion of ed­u­cat­ing its students. We, at The News, ap­pre­ci­ated his can­dor and in an­swer­ing our ques­tions and dis­cussing the path for­ward, and af­ter our con­ver­sa­tion, we feel con­fi­dent that Ge­or­gia Perime­ter will thrive in New­ton County in the long term.

Tri­coli had grand plans for New­ton County, plans he shared with the community just months be­fore his ques­tion­able spend­ing de­ci­sions came to light. Watts is an in­terim pres­i­dent, and he’s sure to point that out. How­ever, even he, in the midst of these tough times, sees the po­ten­tial we have here locally. We want to thank Watts for his quick and de­ci­sive ac­tion and his con­tin­ued lead­er­ship through a dark pe­riod in the col­lege’s his­tory.

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