A singular, annual UGA honor announced for Franklin College associate dean Russell Malmberg:
University Professor, an honor bestowed on faculty who have had a significant impact on the University of Georgia in addition to fulfilling their normal academic responsibilities.
The honor was first awarded in 1974, and no more than one University Professor can be named in any year.
He has helped grow the university's Integrated Life Sciences program, which allows first-year graduate students to rotate among faculty in participating departments and defer their choice of a major professor until the end of their first year. The program has allowed the university to recruit talented graduate students in areas where it has significant strengths-such as developmental biology and vaccine research-but no formal departments. It also has fostered collaboration among faculty by connecting them through interdisciplinary groups. The program, which began in 2009, has grown to include 11 departments from four colleges and will recruit 50 students annually beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year.
Malmberg helped develop the university's Intensive English Program, which helps international students improve their English skills prior to entering graduate school. The IEP began as a summer program in 2010 with funding from the Provost's Office and has since become a self-sustaining, profit-generating enterprise that attracts students from UGA and institutions worldwide. This year, it began operating as a year-round program.
The IEP is really work beyond the call of duty, yet incredibly important for many of the top students UGA attracts. It is the duty of those in higher education leadership positions to identify the challenges facing students (and faculty) and to find solutions. That atmosphere creates the dynamic that is the higher ed learning environment itself. People are important. Problem-solving leaders are crucial. Congratulations Dr. Malmberg for the recognition of your work and thank you for making our campus the place that it is.