The University of North Georgia - Dahlonega Gampus - is a fully diversified university with a student body of more than 6,000 students. A unit of the University System of Georgia, North Georgia was founded in 1873 and holds distinction as a state leadership institution.
The historic town of Dahlonega, GA, has expanded dramatically in recent years to support the growth of the student body and faculty.
In January 2013, North Georgia College & State University merged with Gainesville State College to form the University of North Georgia. The result of this consolidation created a student population of 15,000 plus students across four campuses. These campuses are located in Dahlonega, Cumming, Gainesville and Watkinsville, GA. The role that the athletics program will play in unifying these four campuses will be pivotal to the success of the new institution, the University of North Georgia.
In 2007, after a two year process, North Georgia was accepted into NCAA Division II and joined the Peach Belt Conference (PBC). The PBC, among the elite conferences in all of Division II, consists of fourteen schools in the southeast and boasts 32 Division II national championships in the last 23 years.
In keeping with the PBC’s winning tradition, in 2011-2012 the North Georgia women’s soccer, women’s softball and men’s tennis teams competed in the NCAA regional tournaments and were all nationally ranked. And for the third-straight year, a North Georgia athlete was selected as a Division II National Player of the Year – women’s basketball player, Jaymee Carnes. In addition North Georgia had over 100 athletes recognized on the Peach Belt Honor roll for GPA’s at 3.0 or higher in 2011-2012. Fifteen of these students were also recognized as All Academic, with GPA’s of 3.3 or higher while participating and contributing significantly in 50% or greater of their team’s athletic competitions.
To enable our student-athletes and coaches to continue their ascent in both the classroom and as true challengers in the PBC, the University of North Georgia, in conjunction with the Athletic Department has launched the A Vision for Excellence plan. A Vision for Excellence is the largest plan ever at North Georgia to focus on athletic facility renovations and program endowments, providing our student-athletes and coaches with the resources necessary to be successful both academically and athletically on the field of competition.
The A Vision for Excellence plan focuses on three strategic areas:
Continue to Improve Our Facilities – In the next five years we want to enhance our existing sports venues so that our student-athletes will be competing in among the most contemporary facilities in the PBC.
Attract the Finest Coaches and Athletes Available – We must continue to raise the scholarship and other funds necessary to recruit both the best coaches as well as the most athletically and academically qualified students available.
Operations - Additional funding will provide the security of access to the equipment, training and travel monies needed for our coaches and athletes to perform at the highest level.
Like all public colleges and universities in Georgia, the University of North Georgia receives no financial support for athletic facilities from the State of Georgia. Thus, the Department of Athletics must raise the money for facilities, scholarships and operations either through private funding or student activity/athletic fees. Interestingly, some of North Georgia’s competitors in the PBC are in states that do fund athletic facilities. South Carolina is one such example.
The funding challenge is further complicated by the limits to which the University can charge an athletic fee. Even with one of the highest fee rates in the University System of Georgia, the University of North Georgia - Dahlonega Campus still falls short in athletics funding. Athletic fees will simply not provide the means necessary to fund capital improvements.
To be sure, the A Vision for Excellence plan will have a tremendous impact on athletics at the University of North Georgia - Dahlonega Campus, as it will promote unprecedented revenue growth.