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Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program

The Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program is comprised of over 3,000 linear feet of archival collections, along with an extensive number of oral history interviews, that document the unique political culture of the state of Georgia.

Beheruz Sethna

Beheruz Sethna was president of the University of West Georgia from 1994 to 2013. In this interview, he discusses several controversies that occurred on campus during his presidency. He begins by discussing the breakup of the former College of Arts and Sciences into three separate colleges: Arts and Humanities, Science and Mathematics, and Social Sciences. He then talks about the controversy about the school's mascot designation of the Braves, and how it was eventually changed to the West Georgia Wolves. Sethna then discusses the "Go West" campaign, and how the expenditure of advertising dollars in order to increase student enrollment numbers during tough budget times created a controversy. The fourth topic of discussion has to do with controversial faculty, including Daniel Helminiak, whose research was on Biblical views of homosexuality, as well as another faculty member who spoke out against the Iraq War upon its launch in 2003. The final topic of conversation has to do with an underage high school student taking an English class on campus, who was given a "racy" class essay to workshop in an in-class paper exchange, and how that created anger among some prominent community members.