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Board of Regents to Begin Review of Institutional Missions

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Institutional Missions Last Reviewed and Updated by Board in 1995-96

Atlanta — November 16, 2004

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents today approved a motion to rescind its 1996 prohibition against changing the names, mission statements, and missions of the System’s 34 colleges and universities. The board’s approval now also sets in motion the initiation of an overall review of institutional missions by University System officials.

Today’s board action followed a presentation on the mission review process by Senior Vice Chancellor for Academics and Fiscal Affairs Dr. Daniel Papp. The presentation was a first step in a System-level mission review process that will take place over the coming months. Reviews of institutional missions will be framed within the Regents’ on-going Statewide Assessment Plan that looks out to the year 2015 at state growth patterns and workforce needs. The University System’s 2004 strategic plan will provide an additional framework for the decision making. The goal is to ensure the University System will continue to be in a strong position to meet state needs with the right mix of academic programs and degree offerings.

“Mission Review is an important part of the USG’s on-going process of keeping abreast of Georgia’s present and future needs,” said Papp. “But the Board’s approval today does not mean that name and mission changes are automatic. Such changes must first meet a number of conditions before they can be brought before the Regents.”

The University System of Georgia is comprised of five sectors of colleges and universities: research universities, regional universities, state colleges and universities, state colleges, and two-year colleges. There are four categories of mission review that will be considered:

  • name changes,
  • the clarification of mission statement with no change in mission or the sector within which an institution is placed,
  • changes in mission statement with a change in mission but not sector, and
  • changes in the mission statement with a change in both mission and sector.

Papp said that review and possible approval of individual institutional requests for mission or name changes will depend upon the institution meeting the following minimum conditions:

  • Proposed changes must meet statewide, regional, or local needs of Georgia, its people, and its economy;
  • Up-front, one-time, and continuing costs must be substantially met by external funding;
  • The changes must have no major effect on other institutions;
  • Faculty, staff, student, alumni and public support must be demonstrated;
  • Faculty and staff must be able to deliver quality programs;
  • The institution’s library must be able to support new programs;
  • Institutional facilities, technology and infrastructure must be able to support new programs;
  • The quality of all programs must improve;
  • Current institutional responsibilities must continue to be met; and
  • There should be no unnecessary duplication of programs as a result of changes.

The next steps in the mission review process will be to request detailed proposals from among those institutions which have already submitted requests. University System Office staff will analyze the requested name change and mission change proposals based on the statewide assessment and strategic plans. Ultimately, Board of Regents approval will be required for select name and mission changes.

Papp noted that Georgia has changed a great deal since the last comprehensive review of the University System’s institutional form and function in 1995-1996, and the state is expected to change even more by 2015. “The University System of Georgia must change so that it can best serve Georgia, its citizens and the nation,” Papp said.

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