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Renowned scholar of international affairs named Coverdell Chair

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POSTED: May 13, 2008
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Renowned scholar of international affairs named Coverdell Chair

large photo Roger A. Coate has been named the first Paul D. Coverdell Endowed Chair of Policy Studies at Georgia College & State University.

“I am greatly honored to have been selected as Paul D. Coverdell Chair in Policy Studies, and I am very excited about joining the Georgia College intellectual community,” Coate said. “The university’s unique mission and special role as the state’s designated public liberal arts university fits perfectly with my own values and intellectual and professional interests.”

Coate leaves a similar position at University of South Carolina to pursue the new challenge. He has served since 2001 as the director of The Richard L. Walker Institute of International Studies at University of South Carolina. The institute serves as an interdisciplinary research and public-service center promoting research, scholarship, and public service programs in international affairs.

Coate will assume his position at Georgia College in January.

Georgia College President Dorothy Leland said Coate is a “perfect fit.”

"The Coverdell Chair is the leader in engaging the university and the broader community in joint efforts to propose innovative, workable solutions to our common public problems," Leland said. “Dr. Coate is a perfect fit.”

Interim Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences Mike Digby said the committee searched for “someone with a national reputation in teaching and scholarship in public policy.

“We wanted someone who had a proven track record in the sorts of policy issues to which Sen. Coverdell devoted his public life - international service and public leadership,” said Digby who served on the search committee. “In Dr. Coate we have someone with an international reputation for excellence in these fields.”

The Coverdell Chair is held by an eminent scholar in a discipline such as political science or policy studies who has a record of developing leadership programs, incorporating the values of service and self-sacrifice that typified the late Sen. Paul D. Coverdell’s career.

Coate will serve as the focal point for the university’s multi-faceted initiatives in public policy studies, bringing faculty and students from various disciplines together in analyzing the various dimensions of major public problems. The chair works with faculty and students throughout the campus to ensure Georgia College leadership programs are developed using best practices recognized throughout the world.

“I hope to use the position as Coverdell Chair to work constructively with other members of the university community to foster further the university’s interdisciplinary learning environment, enhance internationally-oriented research and educational programs, and facilitate multicultural learning through expanding opportunities for international exchanges and study abroad programs,” Coate said..

Coate’s research and teaching interests focus on multilateralism, international organization and global governance. His specific areas of expertise include: international organization reform, the role of civil society in global governance, and U.S. multilateral foreign policy.

Coates earned a bachelor’s degree in International Studies in 1971 from Bowling Green University in Bowling Green, Ohio; a master’s degree in Advanced International Studies in 1973 from The Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.; and a doctorate degree in Political Science in 1977 from Ohio State University.

“I also plan to use the resources associated with the Chair in such a way as to serve as a catalyst for generating new resources for supporting and promoting faculty and student research and to enrich Georgia College’s intellectual atmosphere by inviting international scholars, statesmen, policymakers and other experts to visit the university for presentations, seminars, and symposia."

In 1990, an affiliation between Coverdell and Georgia College began with an agreement to begin the Peace Corps Fellows/USA Program here. Coverdell later signed a gift agreement at GCSU donating his Peace Corps papers to the university. Impressed with Georgia College’s mission, Sen. Coverdell returned to the campus in June 1999 to donate his U.S. Senate papers to the Georgia College library. Coverdell was elected to the United States Senate from Georgia in 1992 where he served until his death in July 2000.

The Coverdell Endowed Chair in Policy Studies was funded by friends and family of Sen. Coverdell and was matched by appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly as part of the University System of Georgia eminent scholars program.

“The dedication of Sen. Coverdell’s family and friends and the support of Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and Sen. Johnny Grant made this dream of carrying on the senator’s work a reality,” Leland said. “Georgia College is proud to take part in this quest to further our mission of advancing our international community and studies.”

Sen. Grant said he is pleased to see Georgia College continue “to enhance its reputation by attracting high caliber faculty such as Dr. Roger Coate.”

“Sen. Paul Coverdell’s legacy of service will continue to be a example to students through the leadership o f Dr. Coate,” Sen. Grant said.

The late senator’s widow Nancy Coverdell said she is thrilled with the new Coverdell Chair.

"The appointment of the first Coverdell Chair represents the continuation of my husband’s desire to improve international relations,” Nancy Coverdell said. “Dr. Coate will help Georgia College ensure Paul’s legacy.”

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For more information, contact Judy Bailey in University Communications at (478) 445-4477.