ATLANTA —The steady drumbeat of consolidation of the state’s universities and colleges continued Tuesday as The University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted to officially merge Southern Polytechnic State University and Kennesaw State University
This action will be implemented over the next year, with final board approval of the new institution coming in January 2015, following the approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools at its December 2014 meeting.
The two schools become the ninth and tenth USG institutions to merge since Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced his intention in Sept. of 2011 to consolidate some of the system’s schools.
Prior to the Kennesaw-Southern Poly merger, there have been four other consolidations over that two-year period which have reduced the number of USG institutions from 35 to 30.
The prior consolidations were:
— North Georgia College and State University and Gainesville State College to form the University of North Georgia.
— Middle Georgia College and Macon State College to form Middle Georgia State College.
— South Georgia College and Waycross College to form South Georgia State College.
— Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University to form Georgia Regents University.
“This is a decision that will strengthen both institutions’ ability to serve students and to ensure we can direct resources appropriately into the academic mission,” said BOR Chairman Dink NeSmith. “With this consolidation, all of our guiding principles have been addressed as we plan for how to best meet future needs in Georgia for public higher education. I’m excited about the future potential for the new Kennesaw State University.”
“This decision is the right move in the long-term interests of students and the state,” said Huckaby. “The new Kennesaw State University will be in a strong position to broaden its academic and research mission and expand its scope not just locally and statewide, but nationally. We are confident that the unique degree programs at Southern Polytechnic will be enhanced and strengthened.”
An implementation team with representatives from both institutions to work out the many details associated with consolidating the two universities will be formed immediately. The implementation team will prepare and submit the required documents to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.