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Stephen R. Portch, Ph.D.

Stephen R. Portch, Ph.D., is the chancellor emeritus of the University System of Georgia, consisting of 35 universities and colleges. He served as chancellor of this system from 1994-2001, a transformative period for Georgia higher education that included a highly successful strategic plan. During this period, Change magazine selected him as one of the “21 Most Influential Voices in the Academy.”

Previously, Portch worked 18 years in the University of Wisconsin, culminating his tenure as senior vice president for academic affairs. He also served as a professor of English, a campus dean and a chancellor in Wisconsin.

Since 2001, he has been a higher education policy adviser, consultant and speaker. He currently serves as vice chair of the Board for the Pappas Consulting Group Inc. He has focused on governance, strategic planning and presidential leadership in states (such as New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Florida, Ohio and North Dakota) and in both major public and independent institutions (such as the University of Texas at Austin, University of Houston, University of Illinois, University of Virginia, Clark Atlanta University, Tennessee State University, University of South Florida, University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University). He has also collaborated with a number of organizations (such as ECS, SHEEO, ACE) and states (such as Arizona, Hawaii, Ohio) on P-16 efforts.

Originally from England, Portch earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Reading and a master’s and Ph.D. from Penn State, all with honors. He is most of all a catfish farmer in Alabama.