Dr. Hardee named dean of College of Education


Dr. Sheri Hardee has been named the new dean of the College of Education at the University of North Georgia (UNG), Dr. Tom Ormond, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, announced Wednesday.

Hardee has served as associate dean of the College of Education since 2015 and has worked at UNG since 2009.

As the College of Education’s chief academic officer, Hardee will provide leadership in the planning and implementation of its academic programs, defining the strategic priorities and building strong relationships with private- and public-sector partners to support those priorities.

She will also be responsible for all matters related to the College of Education’s internal management, including recruiting and retaining talented faculty and overseeing operations and budgeting.

Hardee replaces Dr. Susan Ayres, who is retiring Jan. 1. Hardee will begin her new role Jan. 2.

“We congratulate Dr. Hardee on this appointment and wish her all the best as she transitions into the role,” Ormond said. “We thank Susan for her many years of exemplary service to this institution.”

Hardee is looking forward to serving as College of Education dean.

“We have such a talented faculty and staff in the College of Education, and I am truly excited to have the privilege of working with them in this new capacity,” Hardee said. “I also look forward to collaborating with our faculty and staff across offices and colleges at UNG to focus on strengthening our already robust programs and developing new initiatives for our students.”

Hardee has a doctorate in social foundations in education, a Master of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of South Carolina. She has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in the social foundations of education and has published articles in journals such as Teaching Education, The Journal of Education Foundations, Critical Questions in Education, and Thresholds in Education.

David Ralston shares his opinion on the 2018 Election

Election 2018

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston spoke to Fannin County residents at the monthly Republican Party meeting. Ralston gave citizens an update on happenings at the Georgia capital and didn’t shy away from sharing his opinion of the upcoming Republican runoff and the Nov. General Election.

“Ain’t nobody going to know who I voted for,” Ralston said expanding on his opinion over recent endorsements of the two Georgia gubernatorial Republican candidates, “because I want to help bring about…we’re going to need some healing as a party.”

Georgia, Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia's Quality Basic Education Act, QBE, Governor, Nathan Deal, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, David Ralston, Fannin County School System, Gilmer County School System, University of North Georgia, UNG, Ellijay, Ben Carson, Mike Pence, Casey Cagle, Brian Kemp, Voter Turnout, Run-off, Election 2018, Republican, Democrat, Stacey Abrams

Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston updated residents of Fannin County about happenings in the state capital.

Ralston spoke of the the tough campaign that many in his party have faced and are still facing. He spoke specifically of the gubernatorial race between Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp: “It’s been kind of…actually kind of nasty.”

Georgia Republicans have a good message according to Ralston and need to refocus on getting out and sharing that message. He would like to see his party “stand together and stand united”.

“It is well funded. It is organized. It is energized. It is unified,” Ralston said of the Democratic Party that is being faced this year, adding, “It’s also more liberal than it was when it was in power last time.”

With redistricting expected to come after 2020, Ralston stressed the importance of coming together as a party in all upcoming elections.

Ralston spoke of his recent trip to Washington D.C. where he was invited to take part in President Donald J. Trump’s Infrastructure Advisory Council. The small group of state representatives spent time talking about issues in their state and met with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson.

“This is a welcome relief that we now have an administration that really does want to hear from us,” Ralston said of his time in our nation’s capital, “and that believes that power comes from the bottom up. Rather than from the top down.”

As far as the work of the last General Assembly in Georgia, Ralston said, “I think that we have had a great session. It is one that I am very, very proud of.”

Among the accomplishments listed by Ralston, the general session achieved fully funding the QBE (Quality Basic Education) which will bring an additional $273,000 to Fannin County Public Schools. The Fannin County School System will also receive $44,000 to put towards added security of school campuses.

Taxes were cut from 6 percent to 5.75 percent with a trigger to drop to 5.5 percent in 2019. Ralston stated that this was the first time income taxes were cut since its institution in Georgia.

“We managed to do that while keeping our budget balanced and maintaining a AAA bond rating,” Ralston added of the recent financial amendments in the state.

Fannin County will also soon see a stand alone campus for the University of North Georgia (UNG). This comes with the state pledging $5.5 million for its construction.

Ralston notes this as a “game changer” for Fannin County. According to Ralston not only will this strengthen ties with UNG in our area but also provide educational opportunities including dual enrollment for local high school students.

Finally Ralston spoke of legislation passed that will allow for “micro hospitals”. These small-scale hospitals will offer acute-care and emergency services as well as short term inpatient care. Facilities such as these typically only house 8 – 15 beds and because of lower overhead are less expensive to operate.

“The first such facility in the state is located just down the road in Ellijay,” Ralston spoke of Piedmont Mountainside Hospital Outpatient Center.
“I have to say, to receive 75 percent of the vote in the district was humbling and beyond our expectations,” Ralston acknowledged his own campaign and the outcome of the May Republican Primary. “It is a real honor to represent this county in the House of Representatives. More than that though I am blessed to call this place home.”


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Natalie Kissel


UNG gets state funds for new campus


BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – In a recent interview on FYNTV, Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston made an announcement regarding the University of North Georgia’s (UNG) Blue Ridge campus.

Ralston confirmed in the interview that the state has set $5.5 million into a line item to establish a new standalone “brick and mortar” building for the university. The budgeted funds are set for construction only, meaning that the university will be responsible for locating and acquiring a spot suitable for the new campus. Once the college purchases the location, they can utilize the state funds for their new building to expand into that new home in Fannin County.

As such, the location of this facility is yet to be determined. According to Campus Director of Blue Ridge for UNG, Sandy Ott, she hopes to begin construction as soon as possible. Ott spoke with FetchYourNews (FYN) about the fund allocation saying, “We are thrilled with the opportunity to expand the Blue Ridge campus. We are so excited for the opportunities for the students in our region. This is going to have an impact, truly.”

Ott noted some of the major capabilities that a standalone campus will allow including expanded course offerings, lab spaces for sciences and core classes, as well as development space to cater to the region’s specific needs. While college officials are still searching for the best location at this time, Ott confirmed that they are still very early in the process and uncertain if the new standalone campus will see them completely leaving their current location just off of 515 at 83 Dunbarton Farm Road.

UNG has been at that location since 2015, offering opportunities such as dual-enrollment courses for high school students, a full-time program for first-time freshmen, courses for adult learners getting started or returning to college, and continued education programs.

With the passing of the state’s budget, this is now set for UNG to utilize when available. Ott assures FYN they are moving quickly to take advantage of the funds to increase their services as soon as possible for students. See more by checking out the announcement at 14 minutes into FYNTV’s video below.




Sandy Ott from UNG 5/26/16


BKP sits down with Sandy Ott from the Blue Ridge Campus of the University of North Georgia.


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