The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges gave its approval Tuesday for the consolidation of Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State University, as well another proposed merger within the University System of Georgia.
The SACS commission is a regional accrediting organization for colleges and universities, mainly in the Southern states. A prospectus developed by a committee at Georgia Southern and Armstrong State for their merger as the “new Georgia Southern” effective in January was submitted to the SACSCOC.
Now the consolidation plan goes to the Board of Regents of the University System, which announced it is scheduled to review the final recommendation during a telephonic meeting called for Tuesday, Dec. 12. The regents launched the process with a vote last January.
SACS also approved a prospectus for the merger of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Bainbridge State College, which will become the “new Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College,” according to the University System news release. The regents will also review the ABAC plan Tuesday.
University System Chancellor Steve Wrigley called the SACS approval “an important milestone” and thanked the accrediting association’s leadership.
“Creating the new Georgia Southern University and the new Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will allow us to better serve students, broaden and redesign academic programs and reinvest savings into academics to improve student success,” Wrigley said.
With these consolidations, the number of institutions in the University System of Georgia will be reduced from 28 to 26. Before the launch of the current consolidation initiative in 2011, the University System of Georgia was comprised of 35 colleges and universities.