ASU starts 100th school year - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ASU starts 100th school year

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August 5, 2002

A South Georgia University prepares to start its 100th school year. Albany State University held a conference today for its 500 faculty and staff members today.

In the State of the University address, President Dr. Portia Shields talked about the obstacles facing the university and urged employees to answer three questions. What do we need to do, what will it take to make it happen, and what will you do?

Employees will spend the next week answering those question. "We must continue to improve education. This comes through setting and achieving goals," said Dr. Shields.

Shields talked about both good and bad news for ASU, including how to stop future accusations of teacher-student sexual abuse. A talk that comes just weeks after Professor Melvin Shelton stood trial for sexually assaulting a 21 year-old student. The case ended with a hung jury.

"Professors should never have a student alone in their office . And, professors should never have a single student at their house. If something happens, teachers must notify us immediately."

Dr. Shields also honored five faculty and staff members for their excellence, with the first ever President's Award. Robert Skinner received the honor after leading the women's volleyball team to a conference title, while coaching the women's basketball and softball teams as well.

"This honor is such a blessing," said Skinner."The University gives me everything I need to succeed.

Student acceptance is up nearly 50%, with 250 more students planning to attend ASU this year than in 2001. The main goal of this week long conference is to make sure these students are prepared for the business world the moment the step of campus.

ASU received the largest single donation in history this year, $3 million, for singer Ray Charles.