Michael F. Adams

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For other people called Michael Adams, see Michael Adams (disambiguation).
Michael F. Adams
President of the
University of Georgia
In office
Preceded by Charles Boynton Knapp
Succeeded by Jere Morehead
Personal details
Born (1948-03-25) March 25, 1948 (age 67)
Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.
Spouse(s) Mary Lynn Ethridge Adams
Alma mater Lipscomb University
Ohio State University
Profession University President

Michael F. Adams (born March 25, 1948)[1] is president emeritus of the University of Georgia in the U.S. state of Georgia.

Adams began his career in education as a faculty member at Ohio State University from 1973-1975. He later served as vice president for university affairs at Pepperdine University from 1982-1988. After his tenure at Pepperdine, Adams was president of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky for nine years, 1988-1997. During his tenure at Centre, the endowment tripled to $120 million, faculty salaries nearly doubled and Centre was usually first in the nation in percentage of alumni making donations to the school each year.

Starting in 1997, Adams served as president of the University of Georgia. Under Adams' leadership, the university has increased total enrollment from 29,000 to nearly 35,000 and constructed or renovated a number of buildings and facilities, including an expansion of the Georgia Museum of Art, a new special collections library, newly relocated art school and science research facilities, and expansion of the university's Tate Student Center. The College of Engineering, College of Public Health and UGA-GHSU Medical Partnership have been established under Adams's tenure.

Adams has received more than 50 awards in higher education, including the Knight Foundation Award for Presidential Leadership, the Pioneer Award for Leadership in Civil Rights and the James T. Rogers Award from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He received the Governor's Award in the Humanities from the Georgia Endowment for the Humanities. He has also been elected to lead a number of national education organizations, including the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the American Council on Education, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Executive Committee. Adams was selected as the recipient of the 2013 Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District III.

Before entering higher education, Adams held a number of political positions. He served as chief of staff for Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker 1975-1979 and as an aide to Governor Lamar Alexander of Tennessee from 1980-1982. Adams was the Republican nominee for the United States House of Representatives in 1980 for Tennessee's Fifth District, but he lost the general election to Democrat Bill Boner 118,506 votes (65.4%) to 62,746 (34.6%)

In May 2012, Adams announced that he was stepping down as president of the University of Georgia after 16 years. He said he plans to continue to be involved with the Athens community and teach and write at UGA as well as fundraise for the university. The president's retirement took effect June 30, 2013.[2]


Adams graduated from Chattanooga High School. Adams holds a B.A. in speech and history from David Lipscomb College, 1970; M.A. in communication research methodologies from Ohio State University in 1971; and a Ph.D. in political communication from Ohio State University in 1973. To support himself during the OSU years, he served as minister at the Indian Springs Church of Christ in Columbus. In May 2012, Adams announced that he would be stepping down as UGA president the following year.[3]

Advocacy of NCAA football playoff[edit]

On January 8, 2008, Adams made national news when, as chairman of the NCAA executive committee, he advocated establishing an eight-team playoff for an NCAA football national championship. Adams, citing the influence of the television networks and commissioners of the various conferences and bowls, noted that some recent BCS matchups had been disappointing and stated that the BCS system was "undercutting the sportsmanship and integrity of the game."


  1. ^ http://www.uga.edu/gm/artman/publish/0709adams1.html
  2. ^ "Adams to retire: "My love will always be deep for the University of Georgia"". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "UGA Today". University of Georgia. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 


  1. ^ William Prokasy, UGA's Vice-President of Academic Affairs at the time, served as the interim UGA president for 3 months from the time of Knapp's departure in the spring of 1997 until Michael Adams's official start in the fall of that same year.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Richard L. Morrill
President of Centre College
1988 – 1997
Succeeded by
John A. Roush
Preceded by
Charles Boynton Knapp[1]
President of the University of Georgia
1997 – 2013
Succeeded by
Jere Morehead (designate)