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Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia Hardcover – February 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: NewSouth Books; First Edition edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588382060
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588382061
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #479,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Whitt is a veteran journalist recently retired from a long career at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. He lives in Marietta, Georgia.

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By amp on March 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Pulitzer Prize winning author of this book lays out a story of the abuse of power by the President of The University of Georgia and how back room deals and self serving politics have resulted in multiple problems over the tenure of the currrent President, Michael Adams. In addition to the current managment of the Univeristy others come in for criticism for their actions or inattention to their responsibilites including the Board of Regents, the Attorney General of Georgia, and the current govenor, Sonny Perdue. Even the media are taken to task for simply attributing any criticism of the current administration to the widly publicized rift between the ionic Vince Dooley, the former football coach and athletic director, and Adams-overlooking the indications of more serious issues. In spite of some successes during Adam's tenure, a lack of trust has resulted in the withdrawal of support from some alumni. In addition there are now two separate Foundations accepting donations and the University has lost significant royalties on a successful drug developed by a former researcher in the Veternary School. As state funds for higher education continue to decrease, the importance of private fundraising and money which can come from the new products produced by researchers has increased. As one reviewer states "preoccupation with power, perks, and petty politics weakens the glue of trust necessary to bind highly educated, independent minded scholars together with others in the common cause of excellence". This book is recommended for anyone interested in UGA or the governance of state supported institutions of Higher Education.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kay on May 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sad to read this book & see how politics are now driving UGA.
Someone said to me recently that "UGA is not longer 'of Georgia' - meaning not our old beloved school of our youth.
Now driven by global thinking, radical minds, a power hungry egotistical president, etc.
If you leave money to UGA in your will, be sure & restrict it or else see it go to causes that will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gatsby on April 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Very interesting read that sheds light on all the shortcomings of Dr. Adams. I was extremely excited to get this book and it did not disappoint. Scandals, affairs, and back room deals have run the state of Georgia for years and the trend seems to be continuing. Great read for UGA fans, students, and alumni to see how the system actually operates.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By George Shriver on May 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This well-researched book reveals the truth about the tenure of Adams, the present president. It also reveals the truth about the Board of Regents in GA which controls the university system. There are no educators on that board. It is filled with wealthy friends of the governor ( who have, by the way, contributed major money to his re-election ) and other politicians who know little if anything about the realities of higher education. That Adams has not been fired for major errors and fraud is mainly due to a board which refuses to admit error in appointing him as well as to a super wealthy friend on the board who insists on his retention. Unfortunately, this story is certainly duplicated in other states but definitely not as vividly. The author has all the substantiated truth in this excellent volume. A sad but true story that perhaps merits a revealing movie !!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Douglas C. Childers on May 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Any University of Georgia alumnus or individual that is interested in the growing role private foundations have on the policies of public universities should definitely read this book. The author describes, in detail, the public split of the University of Georgia's private foundation from the actual institution that it was to support. According to the book, the driving factor in this mess has been the growing discontent of numerous influential Foundation trustees over the direction of the University under President Michael Adams.

As the funding of public universities has been curtailed over the past twenty years, schools now rely heavily on private Foundations to provide funds for numerous functions including research, professor salaries, and school expansion. As the importance of Foundations has grown, the selection of Presidents is no longer primarily based on their academic visions for their respective institutions, but their ability to generate and encourage charitable giving to University. "Behind the Hedges" details the Doilette & Touche independent audit of the Foundation that describes how President Adams used Foundation money (generated by private donations), as his own personal check book to cover questionable expenses. For example, Adams hosted an invitation-only law school graduation ceremony at the President's house at a cost of over $10,000 and used Foundation receipts to pay for this party. The problem was that his son was in the graduating class and since he became the President in 1997, he had never hosted a similar event.

The chasm between Foundation trustees and President Adams was amplified by Adams' handling of Vince Dooley's employment at the University. Vince Dooley was the University's Athletic Director.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daddy Don on October 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was at the class reunion of the deceased writer of this book. He was a Pulitzer prize winning author and journalist. I ordered it and read this fascinating story of how change occurs in University circles and how often the graft and corruption follows it wherever it goes.
Even after a forensic audit which exposed wrongdoing to the authorities, people just look the other way and leave a trail of crumpled human beings in their wake. Lies, deceit, corruption, and a lack of respect for years of tradition all are exposed amidst immorality and uncontrollable spending at this university.Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia
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