Georgia announces plans to consolidate 4 more schools

Dive Brief:

  • The University System of Georgia announced this week its plans to consolidate two sets of colleges and universities.
  • Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State University will consolidate to create a new Georgia Southern, and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will be merged with Bainbridge State College to create the new Abraham Baldwin College.
  • While students and faculty from some of the institutions say they feel blindsided by the sudden news of the consolidations, system officials say they are a part of the state's ongoing effort to save costs on institutional spending and to improve student outcomes.

Dive Insight:

Georgia is a national leader in advancing consolidations as a cost-cutting measure for higher education spending. While many states are looking towards the expansion of community colleges, terminating tenure and promotion agreements and programmatic cuts, the state is the only one to have actively combined institutions and resources. 

There are few things college leaders can do to stop consolidations once they become the will of legislators. But when cost cutting becomes a primary objective for state lawmakers, campuses should be the first to provide research and analysis of industrial trends and the benefits of higher education benefits within that scope. Sometimes this work can expose inefficiencies in merger considerations, or to show opportunities in the same.

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Filed Under: Higher Ed Policy & Regulation