Potts was elected chairman of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents on Tuesday. His term will be from July 1 through June 30, 2011. He served as vice chair for the past year and
was intimately involved in budgetary issues during one of the most challenging budget years in recent history.
He has worn out one vehicle driving back and forth to Atlanta during the past year. In fact, Potts’ wife Glenda said he just bought a new car. “It’s got a great warranty,” she said. “I’m very proud of him and excited for him. He’s got lots of energy.”
Potts retired from Temple Inland in Rome in June 2004 after more than 30 years in the pulp and paper industry. Since then Potts has served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce (2006); has been on two citizen special purpose, local option sales tax advisory committees (2006 and 2009); and has served on the South Rome Redevelopment Corp. Board of Directors.
Potts has also been active with the Floyd County March of Dimes and Mercy Senior Care, and he serves as a mentor with the Communities in Schools program.
“I am honored that the board has chosen me as its leader,” Potts said. “The budget is obviously the big issue, and that is compounded by the growth issue. We have to accommodate an increasing number of students with less and less money.”
Potts served as chairman of the Regents finance committee from July 2008 to June 2009.
Randy Pierce, president of Georgia Highlands College, said he did not know Potts all that well before Potts was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2006. “As I’ve gotten to talk with him more closely, he’s been very supportive of Georgia Highlands College,” Pierce said. “I feel very comfortable just walking up to him and speaking my mind. He’s very approachable.”
Rome is well represented in leadership positions impacting education at every level in Georgia.
Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce President Al Hodge serves as vice chairman of the state Board of Education. David Johnson with United Community Bank in Rome, a member of the Floyd County Board of Education, is also a member of the Board of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.
The Board of Regents is a constitutional body that governs and manages the University System of Georgia, comprised of 35 public colleges and universities, more than 302,000 students, and approximately 40,000 faculty and staff.