Georgia State president: Merger with Georgia Perimeter will increase GSU's impact

May 10, 2014 - Atlanta, Ga: Georgia State University president Mark Becker speaks during the Spring 2014 Commencement at the Georgia Dome Saturday afternoon, May 10, 2014. JASON GETZ / SPECIAL

Credit: Maureen Downey

Credit: Maureen Downey

May 10, 2014 - Atlanta, Ga: Georgia State University president Mark Becker speaks during the Spring 2014 Commencement at the Georgia Dome Saturday afternoon, May 10, 2014. JASON GETZ / SPECIAL

If you want the most upbeat take on the merger of Georgia State University and Georgia Perimeter College, here it is.

Below is a Q&A with GSU President Mark Becker posted this afternoon on the university website.

These are only a few of the questions. Go here for the full Q&A .

Why consolidate Georgia State University and Georgia Perimeter College? 

Georgia State and Georgia Perimeter have a long history of collaboration and mutual benefit. Nearly 1,500 Georgia Perimeter students annually transfer to Georgia State, and those students have performed at an academic level equivalent to students who began their four-year program at Georgia State. Georgia State’s nationally recognized and continuing work on programs aimed at ensuring student success will have a significant impact on improving graduation rates at both institutions. Overall, the number of students who earn their undergraduate degrees is expected to increase significantly.

What is the value of this consolidation to Georgia State? 

The consolidation will dramatically increase Georgia State’s impact and extend the university’s reach. The university has become a national model for undergraduate education by demonstrating that students from all backgrounds can achieve academic and career success at high rates. This consolidation is in keeping with Georgia State’s commitment to increasing access and helping students earn their degrees.

 How does this consolidation affect the value of a Georgia State degree?

This consolidation makes Georgia State the largest university in Georgia and one of the largest in the nation. Georgia State has a growing reputation as one of the country's premier urban research universities. It has been recognized as the 6th-ranked "Up and Coming National University" by U.S. News and World Report , 17th-ranked university in the nation for return on investment for students by Best Value Schools and 10th-ranked university in the nation for graduation-rate performance by Eduventures . In December, President Barack Obama lauded the university as a national model of student success. All of Georgia State's momentum in these areas will continue to grow with this consolidation. By joining with Georgia Perimeter, Georgia State will not only gain a larger national profile, it will provide greater opportunities for students from both institutions. With campuses throughout the metro-Atlanta region, the consolidated Georgia State University will have the flexibility to more readily deliver quality academic programs throughout the metro region. It will be able to deliver a greater number of courses at more times of the day and in a wider range of delivery formats, and it will use the nationally recognized approaches to student success its has pioneered to greatly enhance graduation rates for students across the consolidated campuses. Georgia State will continue to admit students to its downtown campus on a highly selective basis and will be ranked by the standards of a top-tier national research university. The highly selective admissions standards, academic quality and growing research profile remain the same.

How does this affect the university’s downtown campus?

Georgia State will continue to grow its academic quality and vibrant research enterprise on the downtown campus. Admissions will continue to be highly selective. Courses offered downtown (and in other existing Georgia State locations such as Buckhead) will enroll only students who have been admitted to the downtown campus. In the future, we anticipate that this consolidation will lead to more students pursuing four-year degrees at Georgia State, and we have the capacity to address growth in the student population.

This also is an opportunity to expand Georgia State’s programs throughout the metro area. Georgia State now offers programs downtown, in Buckhead and Alpharetta. Georgia Perimeter offers courses at five campuses in Newton, Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody and the Alpharetta campus adjacent to Georgia State’s Alpharetta campus. The consolidation will give Georgia State students more opportunities to access the university’s high-quality programs at additional locations.

How will the consolidation affect admissions processes?

Georgia State will continue to admit students into its bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs by the highly selective standards of a top-tier national research university. The Georgia Perimeter portion of the newly consolidated Georgia State University will continue to admit students into its associate’s and certificate programs by standards consistent with its access mission.

About the Author