Schools Consolidation Plan Approved By Regents

The Board of Regents voted Tuesday to approve University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby’s recommendation to consolidate eight of the System’s 35 colleges and universities.

Over the next 12-18 months, Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University will be merged.

On Tuesday, the Board of Regents approved University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby’s the two along with Middle Georgia College and Macon State College; Waycross College and South Georgia College ; and Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University.

“The Board’s approval now paves the way for us to proceed,” Huckaby said in a released statement. “We will focus on how these consolidations enable us to better serve our students and areas of the state more efficiently and effectively. I look forward to working with the eight institutions on this process.”

To work out the details of the mergers, Huckaby will appoint campus working groups that should be up and running by the end of January, according to a news release.

The goal is to increase college completion rates, broaden access to public higher education and maintain affordability. Other efforts to achieve this goal, according to the release, include the System’s participation in Gov. Nathan Deal’s “Complete College Georgia” initiative, a study of how the USG uses its current facilities, the future design and construction of facilities, the expansion of distance education, a new model of academic program review as well as the integration of academic, facilities and fiscal activities.

Existing campuses, such as the Watkinsville location of Gainesville State, will remain open but there may be a possibility of a reduction in workforce.

An article in the Athens Banner-Herald takes a closer look at the merger of Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University.


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