A New Georgia Southern
On January 11, 2017, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia voted to consolidate Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University, ultimately creating a new Georgia Southern University with three campus locations in Savannah, Hinesville and Statesboro. The consolidated university will be led by Georgia Southern President Jaimie L. Hebert. The Consolidation Implementation Committee, Functional Area co-chairs and Operational Working Groups uniting Armstrong and Georgia Southern faculty and staff are currently in the process of examining and working through all aspects of the consolidation. The timeline for a consolidation to be completed is usually 12 to 18 months. The prospectus for the new university will be submitted to the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) in early fall 2017. If approved at the SACSCOC meeting in December 2017, the prospectus will be submitted for final Board of Regents’ review. Should the consolidation follow this timeline, the effective date will likely be January 2018. The tentative timeline for the first entering class of the new Georgia Southern University will be in fall of 2018. Learn more at consolidation.georgiasouthern.edu
Did You Know?
In November 2011, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) adopted six “Principles for Consolidation” that have been used by University System staff to assess the potential for campus consolidations.
Seven consolidations involving 14 USG institutions have been approved and completed to date. The USG’s consolidation of institutions has been focused on serving students better by expanding access, broadening programs and reinvesting savings into academics to improve student success.
Consolidating Armstrong and Georgia Southern will create one institution with expanded regional presence and tailored degree programs for the coastal region.
Q.What are the benefits of the consolidation between Armstrong and Georgia Southern?
A. Creating the new Georgia Southern University will combine the best of both institutions, which are located an hour apart and serve many of the same students. Georgia Southern is already the #1 transfer choice for Armstrong students, and both institutions are among top destinations for students seeking public higher education from Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty counties. The principal goal is to create increased opportunities and expanded options for students, while increasing efficiency and boosting economic development in the region.
Q. Which academic programs will be offered in Statesboro, Savannah and Hinesville?
A. A major responsibility of the Consolidation Implementation Committee is to determine the right mix of programs to best serve students and the region. However, all academic programs currently offered at campuses in Savannah, Hinesville and Statesboro will remain in place through the spring of 2022 at the earliest, allowing current students the opportunity to complete their degrees at the campus of their choice.
Q. Will any faculty members at Armstrong lose their jobs? And what about staff layoffs?
A. Faculty members will be needed to provide quality instruction in Statesboro, Savannah and Hinesville. Certain administrative functions will be combined, resulting in the need for fewer positions over time.
Q. Will students who have been accepted to Armstrong have to reapply to Georgia Southern?
A. No. Armstrong State and Georgia Southern will be a part of the new Georgia Southern. The acceptance status of students who have already applied to either institution will not change.
Q. To what extent will programs and departments be involved in the decision making process?
A. Programs and departments at both institutions are already involved in the decision-making process.
A number of Operational Working Groups (OWG) pair Georgia Southern and Armstrong counterparts to determine the most strategic ways to combine strengths. All units will have the opportunity to offer input throughout the consolidation process. OWG recommendations are being submitted to the Consolidation Implementation Committee for review.
Q. What happens to Armstrong students who are residents of Alabama, Florida and South Carolina receiving out-of-state tuition waivers?
A. Students from Florida, South Carolina and Alabama who are currently receiving out-of state tuition waivers to attend Armstrong will continue to receive those waivers.
Q. How will the consolidation affect tuition rates and fees? Will there be an increase in tuition for current Armstrong students?
A. The University System of Georgia is committed to college affordability. In previous consolidations, the University System has worked closely with both institutions to determine the appropriate tuition and fees for the new institution with an emphasis on affordability. In the development of the new university, the University System will maintain college affordability as a guiding principle in the development of the appropriate tuition and fee structure.
Q. Will the consolidation and the loss of the name make Armstrong State University’s degrees meaningless?
A. Absolutely not. Armstrong degrees will retain their value throughout the consolidation process and beyond. As an accredited university, Armstrong grants degrees to students who have met high academic standards.
Q. How much money is expected to be saved by this consolidation?
A. The exact amount of money to be saved by this consolidation is unknown at this time, but any funds saved will be reallocated to support student success within the new university.
Q. How will the history of Armstrong be preserved for future students after the consolidation?
A. On March 3, the Consolidation Implementation Committee supported a recommendation to name the Armstrong Campus in Savannah and the Liberty Campus in Hinesville. Additional recommendations will be made by Operational Working Groups in the coming months.
Armstrong State and Georgia Southern, Together
The consolidation: creates an institution of more than 27,000 students, making it the fourth largest public university in Georgia; develops a more comprehensive university that serves the needs of the region with a range of degree programs for high-demand careers, such as engineering and health care; offers opportunities for raising graduation rates for students; and reinvests savings from administrative efficiencies into programs that support student success.
About Armstrong State University
Armstrong State University, part of the University System of Georgia, was founded in 1935. The university offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate academic programs in the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science and Technology, the College of Education and the College of Health Professions. Armstrong serves approximately 7,100 students at its main campus in Savannah and a regional center in Hinesville. The university’s diverse student population comes from 43 states, the District of Columbia and 67 countries.
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