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Author Topic: Regents approve campus merger guidelines!!  (Read 549 times)

Offline SkegeeFAMU

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Regents approve campus merger guidelines!!
« on: November 08, 2011, 06:19:49 PM »
Here we go!!

With no discussion, the state Board of Regents Tuesday unanimously approved six guidelines staff will use as they consider how to merge some of the system’s 35 colleges.

It's too soon to say how many and which colleges will merge.

Regents Chairman Ben Tarbutton said he expects the board will receive recommendations during the first quarter of 2012. Once approved, Tarbutton predicted the mergers would be implemented over 12 to 18 months.

Campus consolidations have the potential to save taxpayers millions while affecting thousands of students across the state. The move also will set off a firestorm as alumni, students, politicians and community members fight against changes that threaten their campuses.

"We've done the easy part," Tarbutton said. "Applying the principles will be much more difficult and time consuming."

The "consolidation principles" approved say that any merger should make the system more cost-effective, improve graduation rates and provide more access statewide to quality programs.

As part of the process, University System of Georgia staff will review degree duplication among the colleges to make sure campuses are not competing against one another, Executive Vice Chancellor Steve Wrigley said.

Wrigley said staff will spend "as much as a couple of months" reviewing data based on the merger parameters and then will submit recommendations to the regents.

Tarbutton said there is no target number of campuses the University System is looking to reach, adding "every school is on the table."

Chancellor Hank Huckaby has told the state's colleges not to panic but staff, students and community leaders have spent the past couple of months wondering if their campuses are at risk.

Mergers have long been controversial and emotional.

A state senator ignited widespread debate  three years ago when he suggested the system merge Armstrong Atlantic State and Savannah State, both in Savannah, and Albany State and Darton College, both in Albany, to save money. The idea was shot down by local politicians, alumni and supporters of historically black colleges, which include Savannah State and Albany State.
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Offline Pmist

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Re: Regents approve campus merger guidelines!!
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2011, 06:55:54 PM »
Touch off a firestorm indeed. :nod:


Offline Cholly

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Re: Regents approve campus merger guidelines!!
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2011, 06:57:38 PM »


Offline Cats4ever

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Re: Regents approve campus merger guidelines!!
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2011, 08:46:12 PM »
Moving ahead of the system, Tricoli wrote that while he respects Atlanta Metro and President Gary McGaha, it "would not be a stretch to add AMC to Georgia Perimeter College as GPC's Downtown Campus."

Georgia Perimeter is the state's third-largest college, with about 25,000 students at sites in Alpharetta, Clarkston, Covington, Decatur and Dunwoody. Atlanta Metro enrolls about 3,000 students at a main campus south of downtown Atlanta and a smaller site downtown.

During last month’s regents meeting in Augusta, faculty and local media asked if the system plans to merge Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University. The campuses are about three miles apart and Augusta State's president is stepping down.

Huckaby said presidential openings won't be a factor in merger discussions and that while proximity is, it is not the only one.

When he visited Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State universities a couple of weeks ago, people asked if the two Cobb County colleges would merge. Huckaby explained all 35 campuses are candidates, and while some consolidations may make more sense than others, the system isn’t at a point where anything is being ruled out.

Consolidation principles

The University System of Georgia developed six principles to consider as it discusses consolidating campuses. Each principle will be considered equally. The draft proposal says the principles are:

* Increase opportunities to raise education attainment levels. Enhancing opportunities for students to raise their education attainment levels will be a goal.

* Improve accessibility, regional identity and compatibility. Geographic proximity, transportation corridors, student backgrounds, ensuring as much as possible a cultural fit and other factors which strengthen the qualitative aspects of campus offerings will be considered.

* Avoid duplication of academic programs while optimizing access to instruction. Consideration will be given to demand for degrees, program overlaps and duplication, and optimal institutional enrollment characteristics sufficient to offer and support the needed array of services.

* Create significant potential for economies of scale and scope. Consideration will be given to the potential for achieving cost efficiency in service delivery, degree offerings and enrollment.

* Enhance regional economic development. Consideration will be given to consolidations with the potential to improve economic development through enhanced degree programs, community partnerships and improved student completion.

* Streamline administrative services while maintaining or improving service level and quality. Potential for administrative efficiencies and savings which yield more effective service will be considered. In additional, functional consolidations on a regional basis will be analyzed.

The decision to explore mergers represents a change for a system known for expansion, such as opening Georgia Gwinnett College in 2006. Huckaby and the regents acknowledged they are heading down a controversial course.
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Offline RamMan4Life

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Re: Regents approve campus merger guidelines!!
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2011, 05:23:37 AM »
Ok...let's hit the streets and deal with this foolishness. Looks like I'm going to be doing some research and writing letters. :brickwall:
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Offline Ramese98

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Re: Regents approve campus merger guidelines!!
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2011, 07:21:25 AM »
This is about to get ugly and not just for HBCUs either, folks get crazy about their alma mater. This is going to be a long process, because a lot is involved. Lawsuits are sure to follow, this thing could get held up in the courts for years as all the law suits get straightened out.
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