ATLANTA ATLANTA — A rally put on by Georgia’s three Historically Black Colleges and Universities to convince the board of Regents to spare them from any possible mergers with other schools has been canceled, according to a letter circulating the Internet Monday.
The letter, which is addressed to alumni of Albany State University, Savannah State University and Fort Valley State University, was circulated on Facebook and other social media Monday afternoon.
It contends that, after a conference call Monday among the presidents of the three universities and their alumni association leadership, a decision was made to cancel the “HBCU Show-of-Support” rally set for today.
According to the letter, the presidents agreed that the rally may be viewed negatively by the public and by the board if held today because of ceremonies to officially install the system’s new chancellor.
“The Investiture of the Chancellor will be the focus of the Board’s meeting; consequently, the University Presidents, as well as the National Alumni Presidents, believe any action that distracts from this ‘ceremony’ would be viewed negatively and place our institutions in an untenable position,” the letter says.
“The University presidents strongly feel that the chancellor can be taken at his word that the three HBCU’s will not be targeted in any merger/consolidation effort,” the letter states.
The Regents are believed to be considering merging some college campuses around the state and are expected to review a report during their meeting today that examines the geographic distances between Georgia’s college and university campuses.
New Chancellor Hank Huckaby is believed to be preparing several proposals for the board to consider sometime this winter, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Officials drafted six “consolidation principles” to guide the process. Any merger should make the system more cost-effective, improve graduation rates and provide more access statewide to quality programs, according to the proposal obtained by the AJC.
While no list of schools has been made public, alumni for Albany State and Darton believe, because of the proximity of the schools, the Albany schools may be on the list.
Below is the letter
To all Alumni,
This is to advise you that the GA HBCUs' Show-of-Support in Atlanta at the Board of Regents' Meeting on Tuesday, November 8, has been cancelled. Repeat, this GA HBCUs' Show-of-Support has been cancelled. A conference call was held this morning between the three University Presidents and the three National Alumni Presidents. Information was shared by the University Presidents which has caused us to redirect our Show-of-Support. As a result, the three National Alumni Presidents have made the decision to cancel the Show-of-Support at the BOR Meeting on Tuesday. The Investiture of the Chancellor will be the focus of the Board's meeting; consequently, the University Presidents, as well as the National Alumni Presidents, believe any action that distracts from this "ceremony" would be viewed negatively and place our institutions in an untenable position. There was considerable discussion about the strategy and tactics to be employed in order to best demonstrate our support for our Institutions and the University Presidents fully understand this desire; however, from a tactical standpoint, it was decided that a large gathering of Alumni on Tuesday would not be in our best interest at this time. The University Presidents strongly feel that the Chancellor can be taken at his word that the three HBCU's will not be targeted in any merger/consolidation effort. Again, the three National Alumni Presidents have cancelled the Show-of-Support for Tuesday, November 8th. Please disseminate this information to all Alumni as soon as possible. The three National Alumni Presidents will be advising all Alumni of future efforts to demonstrate our "Show-of-Support".
Greg Hylick, ASU National Alumni Association
Roy Jackson, SSU National Alumni Association
Dorothy Moss, FVSU National Alumni Association