FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – On his first full day as Fort Valley State University's new president Dr. Ivelaw Griffith wasted not time making his progressive plan known. First on his agenda, redesigning the campus layout to fit a more "global concept".
"We are creating space and opportunity for programming around Georgia, U.S. and the globe." Griffith said.
The former York College provost plans to create three courtyard style spaces across the campus focusing on Georgia history, United States history and world history. He calls them "the global village", "the Georgia circle and "the American sqaure". His goal is to encourage outreach to international students.
On Monday he spent two hours with students, faculty and staff to talk about this concept and his "Walls of Wisdom" idea. In addition to the new courtyards, he plans to build "Walls of Wisdom" in the existing buildings. They will include quotes from some of the world's great thinkers.
"The idea to have the unveiling of other walls over time," Griffith said.
FVSU Chief Facilities Officer Dwayne Crew has helped the president draft up a blue print with the students in mind. They plan to unveil an updated drawing on August 5.
"Today, we had good feedback on what they like and what they don't' like," Crew said.
He admits they aren't sure how to pay for the new plan.
FVSU ninth president is taking over in the midst of financial woes. In October, the school faced a million dollar budget shortfall and was forced to layoff hundreds of faculty and staff. This year, he is calling on elected officials to make up the difference.
"So as the opportunities for state funding return, we're going to be a part of the picture getting our adequate share of the public dollars," he said.
It's a financial bridge Griffith plans to cross soon as he settles into his first day on the job.