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Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 6:00am

College Mergers Could Mean Layoffs

Merging eight of Georgia's public colleges will likely involve layoffs, the elimination of some academic programs, and name changes at the long established institutions.

That's according to documents released to The Associated Press on Wednesday as part of an open records request. The documents from the University System of Georgia show some administrative positions and overlapping programs may be cut as the institutions merge over the next year.

The documents also show some faculty and staff may be transferred to another campus and at least one campus chief, Middle Georgia College President Michael Stoy, will lose his title once the campus merges with Macon State College.

Chancellor Hank Huckaby has declined to say how many jobs may be eliminated in the merger of eight state colleges and universities. The university system’s budget chief has said it could be 2014 before officials know how much money the mergers will save.

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