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On Jan. 11, 2017, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted to consolidate Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University. The consolidated university will be named Georgia Southern University and will be led by President Jaimie L. Hebert.

An implementation committee has been formed and is comprised of students, faculty, staff and community members from Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University. These committee members will spend the coming months examining and working through all aspects of the consolidation. The work of the committee will be submitted to the Board of Regents for its consideration in December 2017, with implementation finalized in January 2018, if approved. The tentative timeline for the first entering class of this new university will be in fall of 2018.


UPDATES

Feb. 16, 2017

Academic Programs Guiding Principles

1) The majority of academic programs offered by both institutions will continue to be offered.

2) We will add new programs consistent with regional needs and the new Georgia Southern’s academic mission. Programs will complement offerings at Savannah State University.

3) Programs currently delivered on a specific campus will continue to be delivered at that campus through at least Spring 2022 in order to allow students starting on a particular campus in Fall 2017 to remain on that particular campus.

a) A small number of programs could be limited to one campus effective Fall 2022 consistent with student demand and community engagement associated with that particular program.

b) Additionally, all USG institutions periodically review academic programs to identify needed revisions, to ensure compliance with accreditation standards, and to select programs that may be terminated.

i. Any changes to these programs will be in accordance with Board Policy and accreditation standards.

ii. Any program terminations would be made only after a “teach-out” period during which students have a timeframe in which to complete the program.


Feb. 1, 2017

During today’s meeting, the Consolidation Implementation Committee (CIC) was charged with their responsibilities by University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor Steve Wrigley, Ph.D. The first order of business for the CIC is to draft a University mission statement as well as create a plan of action for athletics.

A date for the next CIC meeting has not yet been set. Georgia Southern University President Jaimie Hebert, Ph.D., Armstrong State University President Linda Bleicken, Ph.D., and representatives from the USG are planning a follow-up phone conversation this week as well as weekly conversations to discuss the progress of the consolidation.

Updates and decisions as they are made will be posted to the consolidation website.


Jan. 26, 2017

Consolidation Implementation Committee Announced

See the committee members >


Jan. 19, 2017

Town Hall Meetings: Archived Videos Posted

Visit the Town Hall Meetings page to view the meetings >


Jan. 19, 2017

Town Hall Meetings Streaming Live Today at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. 

Visit the Town Hall Meetings page to view >


Jan. 13, 2017

Town Hall Meetings Announced

Visit Town Hall Meetings page >


Jan. 11, 2017

Messages from Presidents Bleicken and Hebert

To the Armstrong Community:

Earlier today, the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents approved a plan to consolidate Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University. Please find attached a press release and FAQ from the University System of Georgia providing additional details.

I know change can be stressful, but I am confident that the demonstrated strength and resilience of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni will be key to our success. We will work with our counterparts at Georgia Southern to create an institution that will serve the growing needs of students across the region and combine the synergistic strengths of two award-winning public institutions.

Here are a few important facts to keep in mind:

  • The consolidation process will take approximately 18 months and will be a joint effort led by representatives from both Armstrong and Georgia Southern.
  • The new, consolidated institution will be called Georgia Southern University, with campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, and Hinesville.
  • At the completion of the process, Dr. Jaimie L. Hebert, the current Georgia Southern president, will serve as the president of the combined institution.
  • A Consolidation Implementation Committee, comprised of representatives from both institutions, will be formed in the coming weeks and will be charged with managing the strategic details involved in combining both universities.
  • Smaller work groups will be created and will make recommendations about how to combine operational and academic areas most effectively.

In addition, a new consolidation.armstrong.edu website will provide timely information and updates for faculty, staff, and students at both institutions, as well as community members in Savannah, Statesboro, and Hinesville. The site will include an FAQ, which will be expanded as questions arise throughout the consolidation process.

In an effort to answer your consolidation-related questions and to listen to your concerns, President Hebert and I will host a Town Hall Meeting at Armstrong on Thursday, January 19 at 4:30 p.m. in Fine Arts Auditorium. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members are welcome to attend. Your feedback is extremely important, which is why the Town Hall event will be livestreamed online for anyone who cannot attend in person. Earlier on January 19, I will travel to Georgia Southern in Statesboro for a Town Hall meeting with President Hebert, which will also be livestreamed.

The coming months will be challenging, but through collaborative effort, we can work together to ensure a smooth transition. I hope to see you at the Town Hall Meeting.

Sincerely,
Linda M. Bleicken
President, Armstrong State University

 

To the Georgia Southern Community:

Today, the Board of Regents approved a plan to consolidate Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State University. The combined institution will be named Georgia Southern University. See the USG press release here: http://www.usg.edu/news/release/chancellor_recommends_institution_consolidations

I hope you share in the excitement and optimism this opportunity presents for current and future students of both institutions. The consolidation combines the best of both universities and reinforces the student-centered commitment of each school throughout their long histories. With more than 27,000 students, Georgia Southern will be the fourth largest public university in Georgia.

The consolidation process will take approximately 18 months and will be a joint effort led by representatives from both Georgia Southern and Armstrong.

As we move forward, I – with the help and leadership of Armstrong State University President Linda Bleicken – will lead an implementation team that will work closely with leadership at the University System of Georgia.

We will hold Town Hall sessions on Thursday, Jan. 19 at each institution so our entire community – on and off-campus – will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on the consolidation. We welcome your input. If you are unable to make it to the Town Hall, the sessions will be streamed live on the new consolidation website: consolidation.georgiasouthern.edu. I encourage you to visit this site often for updates.

It is important to me that you feel included in this process as we move forward. Each of you are an integral part of this process and a part of the Georgia Southern University family.

Thank you.

Jaimie Hebert, Ph.D.
President, Georgia Southern University

 


Jan. 11, 2017

Board of Regents Approves Proposals to Consolidate Institutions

View the USG Press Release >

 


Jan. 6, 2017

Messages from Presidents Bleicken and Hebert

To the Armstrong State Community:

The University System of Georgia will announce today that Chancellor Steve Wrigley will recommend the consolidation of Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University for consideration at the Board of Regents’ January 11 meeting.

The recommended consolidation will combine the best of both institutions. As many of you know, Armstrong and Georgia Southern are just an hour apart and ultimately serve many of the same students coming from the coastal Georgia region who are seeking higher education. This consolidation will build on our recognized strengths in the health professions and our military partnerships.

If approved by the Board of Regents, the new institution would be named Georgia Southern University. Dr. Jaimie L. Hebert, the current Georgia Southern president, would serve as the president of the combined institution.

Like you, I am proud of Armstrong’s history and legacy in the community. Fortunately, Armstrong and Georgia Southern are both strong institutions defined by a shared focus on supporting student success, talented faculty and staff, and a powerful commitment to academic excellence.

Pending the Board’s action on Wednesday, both campuses will play an important role in developing the plans for moving the new Georgia Southern University forward. This will include the development of a joint steering committee; joint working teams of students, faculty, and staff; and joint consolidation website to keep all stakeholders informed of its progress and actions.

I will provide more information following the board meeting.

Linda M. Bleicken
President
Armstrong State University

 

To the Georgia Southern Community:

The beginning of a new year always brings a sense of hope and possibility and 2017 is no different.

The Board of Regents and the University System of Georgia continues to assess how its institutions can effectively and efficiently serve the state and provide access to education to its citizens. Chancellor Steve Wrigley will recommend to the Board of Regents that Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State University be consolidated at the next Board of Regents meeting, which will be held January 11.

The recommended consolidation will combine the best of both institutions, which are just an hour apart and ultimately serve many of the same students coming from southeast Georgia who are seeking higher education.

I will provide more information following the board meeting.

Jaimie Hebert
President
Georgia Southern University


Jan. 6, 2017

Chancellor Recommends Institution Consolidations

Georgia Southern and Armstrong State, ABAC and Bainbridge State

University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley plans to recommend two consolidations to the Board of Regents: Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State University and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) and Bainbridge State College. The Board will act upon the recommendations at its Jan. 11 meeting. If approved, the two new institutions will be named Georgia Southern University, to be led by President Jaimie Hebert, and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, to be led by President David Bridges.

The consolidation of these four institutions is expected to enable the University System to better serve students, broaden or redesign academic programs offered in the coastal and south Georgia regions and reinvest savings into academics to improve student success.

“Creating the new Georgia Southern University will combine the best of both institutions, which are just an hour apart and ultimately serving many of the same students,” said Wrigley. “Consolidating Armstrong and Georgia Southern will create one institution with expanded regional presence, tailored degree programs for the coastal region and positioned to significantly enhance the University System’s economic impact for the area.”

Georgia Southern is already the number-one transfer choice for Armstrong students, and both institutions are among the top destinations for students seeking public higher education from Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty counties.

Initial opportunities from consolidating Georgia Southern and Armstrong include:

  • Creates an institution of more than 27,000 students, making it the fourth largest public university in Georgia.
  • Creates a more comprehensive university that serves the needs of the region with a range of degree programs for high demand careers, such as engineering and health care.
  • Expands upon Armstrong’s expertise as the University System’s largest producer of undergraduate health professionals.
  • Creates opportunities for raising graduation rates for students with Georgia Southern’s best practices.
  • Builds on Armstrong’s nationally recognized leadership in supporting student veterans and active-duty military, which will enable the new institution to reach a much larger student population.
  • Reinvests savings from administrative efficiencies into programs to support student success.
  • Ensures the new Georgia Southern University’s Savannah campus offerings effectively balance with and complement those provided by Savannah State University.

In south Georgia, the recommended consolidation proposes to expand upon ABAC’s specialized-degree programs that are uniquely meeting the needs of agriculture, the largest industry in Georgia.

“Consolidating ABAC and Bainbridge creates a unique opportunity to strategically align Bainbridge State’s degree offerings with workforce and regional needs,” said Wrigley.

In addition, ABAC has become a leader in new student recruitment, enrollment management and academic achievement and will bring these best practices to Bainbridge State, which has been facing enrollment declines over the last five years.

“We are committed to serving south Georgia in public higher education and our partnership with the Tifton and Bainbridge communities,” said Wrigley. “This consolidation is a long-term investment of the University System in south Georgia.”

Initial opportunities from consolidating ABAC and Bainbridge State include:

  • ABAC’s specialized-degree programs that have successfully identified and partnered with the needs of agriculture.
  • Strategically aligns degree offerings with workforce and regional needs with a focus on agriculture utilizing a select range of degrees currently offered at ABAC.
  • Establishes a simpler path for associate-degree students to achieve bachelor’s degrees.
  • Applies ABAC’s best practices in new student recruitment, enrollment management and academic achievement.
  • Maintains access for students in Bainbridge to the Technical College System of Georgia certificate/diploma programs.
  • Continues to serve local high school students in the Bainbridge area through the highly successful Move On When Ready dual-enrollment program.
  • Reinvests savings from administrative efficiencies into programs to support student success.

The recommendation to consolidate the four institutions follows the six guiding principles for consolidation approved by the Board in Nov. 2011: http://www.usg.edu/news/release/regents_approve_principles_for_consolidation_of_institutions.

If the Board approves the recommendation, implementation teams with representatives from the campuses will soon be formed for the two consolidations. The two, separate implementation teams will be charged with the responsibility to work out the many details associated with each consolidation.

The University System and the four institutions will hold campus and community listening sessions in the coming months to seek and hear input on ways to best design the new institutions to serve their respective regions and the state.

View article in USG Newsroom >