Ga. officials looking to consolidate universities

North Georgia College & State University

ATLANTA — State officials are looking at consolidating some state universities as a way to save money.

By merging eight of the state’s 35 universities, officials believe they can save on administrative costs. Officials did not immediately put a dollar amount on the savings they expect as a result of consolidation, but said the money would be used for “instructional purposes.”

According to state university system officials, officials are looking to consolidate:

  • Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega
  • Middle Georgia College in Cochran and Macon State College
  • Waycross College and South Georgia College in Douglas
  • Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University, also in Augusta

“Georgia needs more of its citizens completing some level of postsecondary education. But we have to achieve this goal by considering some different approaches – approaches that put the needs of our students and the imperative to reach this goal first and foremost,” University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby said in a news release. “These proposed consolidations are the right approach for us to take at the right time in the System and the State’s history.”

“Our goal is a more educated Georgia, with a network of institutions that offer a range of needed degrees for 21st century demands,” Huckaby added. “We are going to fulfill our mission within the limited resources available.”

The Board of Regents is set to vote on the proposal during a Jan. 10-11 meeting. Officials are targeting fall 2013 for the integration to be completed.

“This consolidation would be a positive step forward for the future of our institutions and for students seeking higher education degrees,” Bonita Jacobs, president of North Georgia College & State University, said in a news release. “Though our institutions have had unique identities, we share a common value of engaged student learning to help students succeed academically and professionally.”

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