GGC head pitches funds for new college

ATLANTA - Georgia Gwinnett College President Dan Kaufman Tuesday urged a House budget subcommittee to go along with Gov. Sonny Perdue's spending recommendations for the state's newest university.

The 2007 budget the governor unveiled two weeks ago earmarks $1 million for the campus off Collins Hill Road in Lawrenceville, which is being converted from a satellite of Georgia Perimeter College and the University of Georgia into a stand-alone four-year college.

If approved, the money would be used to hire the faculty Georgia Gwinnett must have in place to begin classes this August, Kaufman told members of the House budget subcommittee with jurisdiction over higher education.

"These funds are critical if we are to succeed in our mission of welcoming students in the fall,'' the new president said in his first appearance before a legislative committee. "I ask that you ensure these funds stay in the House budget.''

The $1 million wouldn't be available until after the start of the new fiscal year in July.

In the meantime, Kaufman said the college is still drawing from of $1.3 million the university system Board of Regents gave Georgia Gwinnett for the current fiscal year.

He said that money is paying his salary along with those of several administrators the college already has hired or will bring on board soon.

Kaufman told the subcommittee that the college, created by the General Assembly last year, will enroll 300 to 500 juniors this fall. Some 2,000 to 3,000 freshmen will follow in the fall semester of 2007.