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Huckaby Recommending Consolidation of Albany State University and Darton State College

Huckaby Also Recommending Naming of President

Atlanta — November 6, 2015

Chancellor Hank Huckaby plans to recommend to the Board of Regents the consolidation of Albany State University (ASU) and Darton State College (DSC). The consolidation of the two institutions is to increase educational attainment levels, student success and transform how the University System impacts southwest Georgia. The proposed consolidation is a long-term investment in the region.

If approved, the new institution will be named Albany State University. Chancellor Huckaby also plans to recommend to the board that Albany State Interim President Art Dunning be named as the permanent president of Albany State and to lead this bold new effort. “We are committed to the long-term health of public higher education in southwest Georgia and our partnership with the Albany community,” said Huckaby. “The University System is committed to strengthening the region through a long-term investment in public higher education in southwest Georgia.”

Further expressing why he is recommending consolidation, he went on to say, “We recognize this is a historic milestone for Albany State. We are committed to continuing to serve the HBCU mission and building upon the mission to serve an increasingly diverse student population and community. We also recognize the key role Darton has played in meeting the access mission and offering workforce related associate degrees. We will maintain both missions under the consolidated institution and believe this strengthens public higher education in Southwest Georgia.”

Some of the opportunities from consolidating ASU and DSC are:

  • Creates a university of nearly 9,000 students; largest institution of higher education in southwest Georgia
  • Builds on Albany State’s HBCU mission and DSC’s access mission
  • Creates a larger university that serves the needs of the community and region with a range of degrees
  • Establishes a simpler path for associate-degree students to achieve bachelor’s degrees
  • Builds on recent agreements between ASU and Darton in areas like criminal justice, forensic science, and music education
  • Allows one institution to focus economic impact in the region and update curriculum to address regional workforce needs; for example, the recently approved supply chain and logistics program at ASU
  • Responds to enrollment challenges by concentrating recruitment and retention resources in a single institution
  • Reinvests savings from administrative efficiencies in programs to support student success.

The recommendation to consolidate the two institutions, whose combined enrollment this fall is nearly 9,000 students, follows the six guiding principles for consolidation approved by the board in Nov. 2011:

If the board approves the recommendation, an implementation team with representatives from both institutions will soon be formed and charged with the responsiblity to work out the many details associated with consolidating the two universities.

The University System, Albany State and Darton State will hold campus and community listening sessions in the coming months to seek and hear input on ways to best design the new institution to serve Albany, the region and the state.

Albany State University, a state university in the Unviersity System of Georgia, fosters the growth and development of Southwest Georgia and the state through teaching/learning, research, creative expression and public service. Through its teaching, research and service, and collaboration with other institutions, the University anticipates and responds to the needs of its constituents; and enhances the quality of life of its publics through advocacy of educational, cultural, artistic and social development in the region. Both traditional and non-traditional students make up the more than 4,000 students who attend Albany State. The university offers more than 30 undergraduate degree programs, the Board of Regents’ engineering transfer program, a dual degree program in engineering with Georgia Tech and six advanced degrees.

Darton State College is a state college in the University System of Georgia. Its principal mission is to provide educational programs, services, and opportunities in southwest Georgia. Over 5,000 traditional and non-traditional students attend Darton State College. The college offers a challenging array of associate-degree programs and limited bachelor’s degree programs as well as online degrees. As the nursing and allied health education center for southwest Georgia, Darton offers 13 allied health programs to serve the needs of the health-care industry in the region.

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