The Board of Regents approved today University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby’s recommendation to consolidate eight of the System’s 35 colleges and universities. Huckaby announced the recommendation last week.
The recommended consolidations are: Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University (Dahlonega); Middle Georgia College (Cochran) and Macon State College; Waycross College and South Georgia College (Douglas); and Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University.
“The Board’s approval now paves the way for us to proceed,” said Huckaby. “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.”
Now that the plan has board approval, Huckaby will begin to implement the plan, which is expected to take between 12-18 months to finalize.
Campus working groups will be appointed by Huckaby and charged with developing detailed recommendations for consolidation. Huckaby said the campus working groups should be up and running by the end of January. Implementation actions will be reviewed by the University System Office and approved by the Regents’ Special Committee on Consolidation and the full board.
The consolidation plan is just one of a series of new efforts launched by the chancellor, each part of a focus on increasing college completion rates, broadening access to public higher education and maintaining affordability. Others 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.
The University System has created a special website to help coordinate information and communication related to the consolidation effort: http://www.usg.edu/consolidation/
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