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University System’s consolidation plan gets final OK from accreditors

Atlanta — December 11, 2012

Four University System of Georgia colleges and universities that will result from the consolidation of eight existing institutions are one step further on the road to reality. Today the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) gave its approval to plans to create Georgia Regents University, Middle Georgia State College, South Georgia State College and the University of North Georgia.

Officials from SACS, the Southeast’s accrediting organization for higher education, announced the approval of the prospectuses submitted by the four institutions during the SACS annual meeting held in Dallas. This represents the final step needed for the Board of Regents to grant its authorization for the institutions to begin to operate and to appoint presidents. This action is scheduled for the January 8 Board of Regents meeting.

“Many individuals have worked countless hours to bring us to this point in our consolidation effort,” said University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “At the outset, our goal with consolidation was to broaden opportunity for more students and to do so more efficiently. The approval by SACs of our plan represents a tremendous milestone and validates the hard work of the past year.”

The four institutions will have new missions, academic programs and direction as they work to serve students. They are being formed through consolidation of North Georgia College and State University with Gainesville State College, Augusta State University with Georgia Health Sciences University, Waycross College with South Georgia College, and Macon State College with Middle Georgia College.

The plan reduces the number of USG institutions from 35 to 31.

Huckaby announced his consolidation plan in August of 2011 and the regents approved six principles for consolidation in November of that year.

At its January 2012 meeting the regents approved the recommendations to consolidate the eight institutions. Working groups on the campuses and at the system office then began the complex process of consolidation.

The regents approved new mission statements for the four new institutions and new names for two in May, with the approval of the final two names occurring in August.

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