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This Day in Georgia History

January 28, 1943

Board of Regents Created

Gov. Ellis Arnall signed a joint resolution approving a constitutional amendment creating the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia as a constitutional board. The amendment was part of a series of constitutional changes proposed by Arnall to reduce the powers of the governor–specifically in the area of education–in reaction to the actions of former governor Eugene Talmadge. Talmadge’s interference with University System faculty and administrators had led to the loss of accreditation of state colleges and universities. Subsequently, Arnall defeated Talmadge in the race for governor on a promise to reduce the governor’s power. The 1943 constitutional amendment vested the Board of Regents with authority for the “government, control, and management of the University System” – a provision which essentially removed state colleges and universities from the direct control of the General Assembly or the governor. Also, the amendment included a proviso that recognized and continued all statutory provisions relative to the Board of Regents. Among the statutes elevated to constitutional status was a law requiring appropriations to the University System be in a lump sum. The impact of this provision is that the General Assembly can not appropriate money directly to individual institutions.

Board of Regents Created View large image
Source: Board of Regents, University System of Georgia