University System Chancellor Steve Wrigley recommends consolidating Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State as well as Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with Bainbridge State.
Photo: Getty Images / Todd Bennett
Photo: Getty Images / Todd Bennett

Georgia Board of Regents approves plans to combine colleges

Georgia’s Board of Regents approved plans Tuesday that will reduce the number of institutions in its system by two, changes officials say will help officials redesign student programs and improve academic performance.

Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State University will be consolidated as the new Georgia Southern University. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Bainbridge State College will be consolidated as the new Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. The changes take effect Jan. 1.

The moves come with some criticism. Karl Peace, who founded Georgia Southern’s Jiann-Ping Hsu School of Public Health with a personal donation, said he’s removing the university from his will because of what he said was a lack of discussion about the consolidation and other issues, the Statesboro Herald reported.

Armstrong State’s enrollment and graduation rates are average in comparison to other comprehensive universities in the University System of Georgia. System officials, though, believe the consolidation will help the new Georgia Southern link academic programs to regional workforce and economic development needs.

Bainbridge State has the lowest enrollment of any institution in the system, with about 1,750 students this fall. 

With these consolidations, the number of institutions in the USG is reduced from 28 to 26.

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