No ASU, Darton merger

ALBANY — Albany State University President Everette Freeman and Darton College President Peter Sireno probably both breathed a huge sigh of relief when it was learned that the two schools are not on a list of state institutions to be merged.

A state lawmaker said Wednesday a University System of Georgia proposal would merge eight college campuses across the state into four to save money.

Rep. Mark Hatfield, a Republican from Waycross, said the proposed consolidation involves merging Waycross College with South Georgia College in Douglas; Augusta State College with the Georgia Health Sciences University; Middle Georgia College with Macon State College; and Gainesville College with North Georgia College & State University.

Hatfield said he met with Chancellor Henry “Hank” Huckaby and Board of Regents chairman Ben Tarbutton on Wednesday.

Huckaby is expected to make an official announcement sometime today.

Freeman, university system spokesman John Millsaps and several regents declined comment. Sireno could not be reached for comment.

According to reports from late last year, the USG has removed all eight of Georgia’s HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) from consideration for consolidation.


whattheheck 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm not sure how waving a wand and saying "these groups are now merged" accomplishes anything financially or otherwise unless the merger really means four campuses will actually "go away"--which won't happen. In some cases, geographic separation precludes what seems to make sense. Likely, we will just pick up more overhead to manage a "complex" or "mega campus", using whichever name sounds more impressive.

But, if we are entertaining such thoughts, in the case of those around Macon, for example, why not add Fort Valley State to the mix? And why not merge ASU and Darton, getting rid of a lot of overhead in the process? Or Savannah State with the other Savannah colleges? Ditto Atlanta with its three "former" black institutions. No, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will never be considered for merger even if it makes total sense. After all, "separate and equal" seems to work well as long as one group is allowed to be "more equal" and retain its identity, or so it seems.

Merging HBCUswill never be considered without a lawsuit and even then the prospects are awful dim--even though it makes sense to do so.


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