In a luncheon ceremony on Monday, Dec. 28, 2009, Dr. Thomas J. “Tim” Hynes, Jr., interim president of Clayton State University; John Parkerson, director of International Programs at Clayton State University; and Kenneth A. Cutshaw, vice president of Georgian American University (GAU); signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that promises a cooperative relationship between the two universities.
The Georgian American University is located in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. The MOU provides the framework for Clayton State and GAU
to engage in international exchanges of faculty to teach at each other’s institutions, attendance of students between the institutions, collaboration in special programs such as research activities or conferences, and exchanges of academic materials.
The Republic of Georgia formerly was part of the Soviet Union, regaining its independence in 1991. GAU opened to the public in 2005, and it is located in the country’s capital city of Tbilisi. It is a small, modern private institution of approximately 800 students th
at offers much of its curriculum in the English language. Its expanding Business and Law programs provide progressive educational opportunities for Georgian students, with the Business programs in particular representing potential areas for collaboration between GAU and Clayton State. GAU graduated its first class of students in 2009 with undergraduate degrees in Business and in Law, and graduate degrees in Law.
Georgian American University already
has ties to Atlanta. Tbilisi is an international sister city of Atlanta; and Cutshaw, who is also a founding investor and board member of GAU, is executive vice president and general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer of Cajun Operating Company/Church’s Chicken, which has its headquarters in Atlanta. On the sports front, Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia is a citizen of the Republic of Georgia. Also, Clayton State’s first international basketball player, Archil Khelashvilli, a power forward/center who played for the Lakers from 1995 to 1997, was also a native of the Republic of Georgia.