Board of Regents approves new consolidation recommendations

The recommendation to merge Georgia Southern University with Armstrong State University and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with Bainbridge State College has been approved after a Thursday morning meeting.

“The consolidation of these institutions will enable our University System to better serve students, broaden or redesign academic programs offered in the coastal and southwest Georgia regions, and reinvest savings into academics to improve student success,” said USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “While the ultimate purpose of consolidation is to serve students better, we also have the opportunity to tailor degree programs for the workforce needs of the area and strengthen our role in the region’s economic development.”

Implementation teams with shareholders from each campus will be formed for the consolidation that will be charged to work out the details of the mergers.

For students and the public, USG officials say listening sessions will be held for public input and a consolidation website will be created to provide information about each consolidation.

For the two new institutions, USG officials say that consideration of the plans for the new institutions by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges should happen by the end of this year with consideration by the Board of Regents to follow in early 2018.

Georgia Southern University President Jaimie Herbert released the following statement Thursday just before noon:

To the University Community:

Today, the Board of Regents approved a plan to consolidate Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State University. The combined institution will be named Georgia Southern University.

See the USG press release here.

I hope you share in the excitement and optimism this opportunity presents for current and future students of both institutions. The consolidation combines the best of both universities and reinforces the student-centered commitment of each school throughout their long histories. With more than 27,000 students, Georgia Southern will be the fourth largest public university in Georgia.

The consolidation process will take approximately 18 months and will be a joint effort led by representatives from both Georgia Southern and Armstrong.

As we move forward, I – with the help and leadership of Armstrong State University President Linda Bleicken – will lead an implementation team that will work closely with leadership at the University System of Georgia.

We will hold Town Hall sessions on Thursday, Jan. 19 at each institution so our entire community – on and off-campus – will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on the consolidation. We welcome your input. If you are unable to make it to the Town Hall, the sessions will be streamed live on the new consolidation website: I encourage you to visit this site often for updates.

It is important to me that you feel included in this process as we move forward. Each of you are an integral part of this process and a part of the Georgia Southern University family.

Thank you.

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