ATLANTA - University system of Georgia officials Wednesday announced the Board of Regents elected Gainesville businessman Philip Wilheit as the board's chairman.
Wilheit is president of Gainesville-based Wilheit Packaging and Marketing Images.
"We have a fine group of people leading the university system during this time of change," said Wilheit. "I am grateful to my colleagues on the board for this opportunity."
His term as chairman is for one year.
Wilheit has most recently served on the Georgia Department of Economic Development Commission and the Commission for a New Georgia. He was a member of Georgia Chamber Transportation Commission and the Georgia Chamber Advisory Committee on School Board Governance.
In addition to his service on the State Board of Education from 1996-1999, Wilheit served for more than 40 years on the board of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, with one year as chairman and more than 20 years on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, serving as its chair for one year. He also served as chairman of Leadership Georgia in 1990.
Wilheit chaired Gov. Nathan Deal's campaign for governor and served as treasurer for his campaigns for 28 years. He also served on former Gov. Sonny Perdue's Economic Development Commission and water task force.
During 2012, Wilheit served as the Board's chair of the finance and business operations committee and chair of its Shared Services Center.
He and his wife, Mary Hart, have two adult children and three grandchildren.
Neil Pruitt was named the regent's vice chairman.
Pruitt is the CEO of UHS-Pruitt Corporation, an assisted living health care company based in Norcross.
ENROLLMENT IS DOWN
The university system also announced that fall enrollment in the state's 31 colleges has declined by nearly 4,900 students since fall of 2012.
Officials said that about 309,500 students enrolled in courses for the semester. Of that number, about 274,500 students are taking a full course load.
The figures were distributed in the system's Fall 2013 Enrollment Report, and officials say the decline in enrollment translates to an approximate 1.6 percent drop in the state's overall student body.