Long-known for expanding campuses, the University System of Georgia changed course Thursday by recommending eight colleges merge into four. It’s part of a sweeping plan to cut administrative costs and funnel more money toward students and academic programs.
Mergers have the potential to save taxpayers millions, although Chancellor Hank Huckaby said it’s too soon to predict how large the savings will be. Should the state Board of Regents approve the plan as expected, the consolidations will affect more than 36,000 students at the eight colleges.
Some local leaders impacted by the plan supported it, saying it will provide a greater range of academic programs and make their communities more attractive to business. But mergers are not popular with everyone. Some worried about layoffs and feared working adults will have to travel greater distances to take certain courses.
Hatfield, who serves on the House Higher Education Committee, worried how layoffs would affect the local economy. He wondered how students, many of whom work full-time and support families, would be able to drive about an hour to attend classes at South Georgia College if a course is not taught in Waycross.
He and other local leaders are trying to rally community members to urge the regents to postpone next week’s vote.
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What happens when GA schools are consolidated? — administrative, faculty, and staff layoffs – students don’t know of the proposal and how it will impact them – if a course is not taught in Waycross, students are expected to drive an hour to attend a class in South Georgia College – many of these students have families and are full-time workers – local community members want to prevent next week’s vote from happening – all of this is in the names of CUTTING COSTS.
The Board of Regents will be meeting:
Tuesday, January 10, 1:00 PM
270 Washington St. SW
Atlanta, GA 30334