Pafford was the fourth president of UWG between 1971 and 1975, when the university was called West Georgia College. Pafford started the faculty senate and helped restore a deteriorating relationship between the college and the community, said Rob Douthit, spokesman for UWG.
“We are deeply saddened at the passing away of this stalwart of higher education in Georgia,” said UWG President Beheruz N. Sethna. “He was a wonderful friend of the University of West Georgia and very supportive of all we did and, indeed, of me personally. I will miss him very much.”
Douthit said some of the student unrest of the 1960s spilled over into the ‘70s on the West Georgia campus. Student drug arrests had become a problem and admission standards and retention rates were issues that had to be addressed.
Pafford set up new procedures to standardize hiring practices and promotions. He established a planning council to reorganize the college. The council drafted the plan that became the four colleges.
In 1974, Pafford returned to teaching. He was succeeded as president by Maurice Townsend.
In 1998, Sethna requested the Board of Regents allow UWG to name the social sciences building after Pafford in recognition of his great service. The building, located near the TLC, houses the sociology and political science departments.
Sethna said he stayed in touch with Pafford via e-mail and he always responded promptly. Sethna’s last e-mail, letting Pafford know about the new dean of social sciences, went unanswered and Sethna became worried about Pafford’s health.
“While I did not hear back from him, I think he would have been pleased,” Sethna said. “He would have been 100 in October.”
Pafford was a former Dean of the College at Valdosta State University and former Chairman of the English Department and professor at Emory University.