Regent Chair Ben Tarbutton Visits Dalton State Campus
In one of his first campus visits since being elected Chair of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Benjamin J. “Ben” Tarbutton visited Dalton State College recently where he met with students and administrators.
Tarbutton, of Sandersville, GA, was elected June 7 to chair the constitutional body that governs the 35 institutions of the University System. He was appointed in January 2006 to the Board of Regents by Gov. Sonny Perdue representing the Twelfth Congressional District and will serve as chair July 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011.
In meeting with administrators of the College, Tarbutton pledged to “protect the budget and bring back as much as possible” of the financial losses sustained over the past four budget cycles.
He explained to students that the BOR’s three percent increase in tuition and $100 addition in fees for Dalton State students was modest compared to hikes experienced in adjoining states.
“We would have had to raise tuition 33 percent across the board to replace all the cut funds,” he said. Of cuts to the HOPE scholarship and grant program, he said, “When you look at what is offered in other states, Georgia still offers a great deal through HOPE.”
He added that Georgia ranks 48th of 50 states in the debt load experienced by University System graduates.
“We’d love to hold down tuition rates further, but we’re not going to compromise the quality of education that’s been built over the years,” he said.
Tarbutton is Assistant Vice President of the Sandersville Railroad Company where he oversees daily operations, including maintaining infrastructure, train transportation and customer service. He serves on the boards of directors for Sandersville Technical College, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and on the Board of Trustees for Leadership Georgia.Regent Jim Jolly of Dalton chaired the committee that developed nominations for board officers for the coming year.