Goetz receives Meigs Professorship

Author: Madeline Laguaite

Not every professor has co-founded a clinic, a center, a company and an entirely new field of study, but Joseph Goetz has.

Goetz began at the University of Georgia in 2006, and since then, he has curated the FACS financial planning program into one of the top three programs in the United States. He’s also a co-founder of financial therapy—an entirely new field of study that’s now utilized both at UGA and around the globe.

“For the past 15 years, he has created, developed and implemented innovative clinics, centers, programs, courses and internship sites unlike any other professor on campus—all to enhance students’ learning,” wrote an associate dean.

Goetz, one of five UGA faculty members to receive the Meigs Professorship this year, teaches two classes each semester, with an assigned allocation of effort of 50% teaching and 50% research over nine months. Still, he’s voluntarily taught additional classes on multiple occasions.

Goetz has taught 10 varying courses, as well as a First-Year Odyssey course, and his average teaching evaluation score is consistently well above the department average. He also spends hundreds of hours outside the classroom, offering one-on-one mentoring to students and regularly serves on doctoral committees for students of other disciplines.

“Dr. Goetz has played a pivotal role in my journey as a doctoral student,” one former student wrote. “His thought-provoking and compassionate teaching style has challenged me to think critically about course concepts and to consider the ethical implications of my future work. As the chair of my doctoral committee, Dr. Goetz has empowered academic, research and professional successes, and coached me through the inherent challenges of pursuing an advanced degree.”

Goetz also co-created a cross-disciplinary teaching and service clinic, the ASPIRE Clinic; a financial planning company, Elwood & Goetz Wealth Advisory Group; and founded several community-based partnerships and service models—all of which have provided numerous experiential learning opportunities for his students.

As a result of his teaching, Goetz has won a plethora of awards, the most recent of which include the Bill and June Flatt Outstanding College Teacher of the Year and the Creative Teaching Award, both in 2019.

“I can think of no other professor more deserving of the Meigs Professorship,” a colleague wrote.