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Regents Approve Principles for Consolidation of Institutions

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Atlanta — November 8, 2011

Work will get underway to assess the potential for the consolidation of University System of Georgia colleges and universities, now that the Board of Regents has approved a set of consolidation principles.

The regents’ action today follows USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby’s Sept. announcement that consolidation would be examined. At that time, Huckaby said, “We need to be organized in ways that truly foster service to our students in the most effective way and that ensure our faculty are properly deployed and supported.” He also noted this would be an open process allowing for full input from many sources.

The six principles that will be utilized in assessing potential consolidations 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 duplications, 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 addition, functional consolidations on a regional basis will be analyzed.

In outlining the principles to the Board during its meeting, Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration Steve Wrigley said that this internal look was needed to ensure the System has a 21st century structure with the right network of institutions offering the proper range of degrees.

The assessment will result in possible recommendations to the Board and will be accomplished over the next several months.

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