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Board of Regents Policy Manual

2.10 Institutional Mission

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The mission of the University System of Georgia (USG) is achieved through the collective missions of our state’s public colleges and universities. The role of public higher education in Georgia is to drive economic development and produce more educated individuals to contribute to the quality of life in the state. USG institutions are responsible for producing graduates with the requisite skills and knowledge to ensure Georgia’s strong future in the knowledge-based and global economy. The individual mission and function of the institutions within the USG must be aligned with the overall USG mission in order to strategically meet the higher education needs of the State.

To that end, the function and mission of each institution in the University System of Georgia (USG) is determined by the Board of Regents, and any change in institutional function and mission must be approved by the Board. Institutional function determines the scope of activity of the institution over a considerable period of time and covers the following aspects:
1. the level at which the institution will operate
2. the types of educational degree programs to be offered
3. the cost of attending the institution (student tuition and fees)
4. the admissions selectivity of the institution and the extent to which the institution serves as a primary point of access to higher education for under-represented students in a geographic region of Georgia
5. the extent to which the institution engages in teaching, research, and service

Specific functions and missions for individual institutions and the procedures to request a change in functional sector, functional sector category, and institutional mission can be found in the Institutional Function and Mission Guidelines in the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook. USG institutions are classified according to the following functional sectors (institutions with asterisks carry a special mission designation):

Research Universities
Institutions classified as research universities offer a broad array of undergraduate and graduate and professional programs and are characterized as doctoral-granting with a Carnegie Classification of very high or high research activity. Associate degrees are typically not offered at research universities. While teaching is a core focus at all USG institutions, the emphasis on basic and applied research is much heavier at research universities than any other institutional sector. It is expected that institutions operating within this sector will be world-class research institutions with significant commitments to receipt of external funding, philanthropic giving, and fundraising at the highest levels.
1. Georgia Institute of Technology*
2. Georgia State University
3. University of Georgia*
4. Georgia Regents University*

Comprehensive Universities
Institutions classified as comprehensive universities offer a number of undergraduate and master’s-level programs with some doctoral programs. Typically, associate-level degrees are not offered at comprehensive universities. Graduate programs at comprehensive universities are characterized as master’s-dominant. While teaching is a core focus at all USG institutions, the emphasis on basic and applied research is heavier at comprehensive universities than state universities or state colleges, but not emphasized as heavily as research universities. It is expected that institutions within this sector will be committed to being world-class academic institutions.
1. Georgia Southern University
2. Valdosta State University
3. Kennesaw State University
4. University of West Georgia

State Universities
Institutions included in the state universities sector offer a number of undergraduate and master’s-level programs, but very few doctoral programs. Only five (designated with a ^ mark) of the 10 state universities are currently approved to offer one or more doctoral programs. These five state universities’ doctorate-level academic program offerings are characterized as limited, select doctoral programs. Associate-level degrees can be offered at these universities, but they are also typically limited. While teaching is a core focus at all USG institutions, the emphasis on research activity at these state universities includes some basic research, but is typically more focused on institutional and/or applied research.
1. Albany State University
2. Armstrong Atlantic State University^
3. Clayton State University
4. Columbus State University^
5. Fort Valley State University+
6. Georgia College & State University+^
7. Georgia Southwestern State University
8. Savannah State University
9. Southern Polytechnic State University+
10. University of North Georgia+^

State Colleges

Balanced Bachelor’s and Associate State Colleges
Institutions included in the balanced bachelor’s and associate-level state colleges group offer bachelor’s degrees, associate programs, and general education courses, but no graduate programs. These state colleges are characterized as balanced bachelor’s and associate-level degrees with bachelor’s programs focused on specialized academic and economic development program areas and regional, college-educated workforce needs. The emphasis at these state colleges is on teaching and service with limited focus on basic or applied research activity.
1. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College+
2. Atlanta Metropolitan State College
3. College of Coastal Georgia+
4. Dalton State College
5. Georgia Gwinnett College+
6. Gordon State College
7. Middle Georgia State College

Associate Dominant-Select Bachelor’s State Colleges
Institutions included in the associate dominant state colleges group are characterized as offering associate-dominant programs and general education courses, with very few, select, professionally-oriented bachelor’s degree programs. The select bachelor’s programs are focused on specialized academic and economic development program areas and regional, college-educated workforce needs. The emphasis at these state colleges is on teaching and service with limited focus on basic or applied research. 1. Bainbridge State College
2. Darton State College
3. East Georgia State College
4. Georgia Highlands College
5. Georgia Perimeter College
6. South Georgia State College

+The institutions below carry a specialized function and mission within the USG:
Georgia Institute of Technology – Georgia Tech is the state’s designated technological research institution

Georgia Regents University – GRU serves as the state’s only dedicated health sciences/medical college

University of Georgia – UGA is Georgia’s land-grant institution established by the Morrill Act of 1862, and also was designated by the Hatch Act in 1887 to establish an agricultural experiment station

Georgia College & State University – GC&SU is the state’s designated public liberal arts institution

University of North Georgia – UNG is Georgia’s designated Military College

Fort Valley State University – FVSU is the state’s only 1890 designated land grant institution

Southern Polytechnic State University – SPSU is the state’s designated technological state university

Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College – ABAC is Georgia’s designated agricultural state college

College of Coastal Georgia – CCG was designated by the Board in 2009 to become a college of choice for Georgia residents and provide expanded baccalaureate degree offerings in this region of the state

Georgia Gwinnett College – GGC was established by the Board to provide access to targeted baccalaureate level degrees that meet the economic development needs of the growing and diverse population of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan region. It is the only state college that offers exclusively bachelor’s degrees.

(BoR minutes, August 2013)