Published on 03/03/16

UGA horticulturist named Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor

By Camie Williams

Tim Smalley, associate professor of horticulture in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has been named a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professors, the university’s highest recognition for excellence in instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Smalley was one of five UGA faculty members who were honored with the Meigs Professorship this week.

The Meigs Professorship underscores the university’s commitment to excellence in teaching, the value placed on the learning experiences of students and the centrality of instruction to the university’s mission. The award, sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, includes a permanent salary increase of $6,000 and a one-year discretionary fund of $1,000.

“Our Meigs Professors are exemplars of the University of Georgia’s commitment to providing students with unparalleled learning experiences,” said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. "They have made enduring impacts on their students as well as on the institution as a whole."

Smalley, who is known for teaching horticulture classes under the Meigs white oak tree, has revamped courses to engage students with learning experiences in and out of the classroom. His Art and Gardens of the Grand Tour study-abroad program has heightened students’ horticultural and cultural appreciation since 2001. Via leadership positions in curriculum, global programs and strategic planning, Smalley has shepherded changes to his departmental and college educational endeavors. He currently serves as the undergraduate coordinator for the Department of Horticulture.

Over his two decades at UGA, Smalley has taught courses in nursery management, landscape contracting and horticulture professionalism. He also teaches the popular Woody Landscape Plant Identification and Use course, which leads students across campus as they learn about the thousands of trees and shrubs that comprise the UGA Campus Arboretum.

Smalley received the 1994 D.W. Brooks Award for Teaching Excellence, is an eight-time recipient of the horticulture department’s Outstanding Teacher Award and is a member of the UGA Teaching Academy. He received the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture’s Teaching Award of Merit in 1995 and the American Society for Horticultural Science’s Outstanding Educator Award in 2014.

The other 2016 Meigs Professors are:

  • Tim Foutz, a professor in the College of Engineering;
  • Stephanie Jones, a professor of educational theory and practice in the College of Education;
  • Karen Whitehill King, a professor of advertising and the Jim Kennedy Professor of New Media in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication; and
  • Rodney Mauricio, a professor of genetics in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

Meigs Professors are nominated by their school or college and chosen by a committee consisting of 12 faculty members, two undergraduate students and one graduate student.

For more information about the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorships, see

Public Relations Coordinator Academic Affairs and Provost Office

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