Fri., January 27, 2012 2:56pm (EST)

No Savings Data On School Mergers
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 3 years ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby addressed concerns about consolidation at Armstrong Atlantic State University.  AASU and nearby Savannah State University eventually were kept off the list of schools to be consolidated.  (photo Armstrong Atlantic State University)
University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby addressed concerns about consolidation at Armstrong Atlantic State University. AASU and nearby Savannah State University eventually were kept off the list of schools to be consolidated. (photo Armstrong Atlantic State University)
University System officials have named who will be responsible for implementing consolidation plans at Georgia's public colleges and universities.

But they haven't yet specified how much the consolidations would save.

The teams announced this week will identify administrators or programs to eliminate at eight colleges and universities.

They also will decide where that money could be redirected.

University system officials say the goal is to spend funds more wisely.

Spokesman John Millsaps says, no one made any specific projections of anticipated savings or benefits in choosing which schools to consolidate.

"Everyone expected that when we announced these consolidations, that there would be all of the answers immediately available to all of the questions that naturally would come up as we implement," Millsaps says. "That wasn't the aim of the original recommendation."

It's unclear how USG identified the institutions selected because the system didn't calculate potential savings.

"The consolidations are an effort to look at how we can use our resources more effectively on behalf of students," Millsaps says. "If there are savings involved, those savings need to be redirected back into the academic mission."

Millsaps says, the on-the-ground teams will handle the details.

The new committees include representatives from student, faculty, alumni and other stake-holders.

USG plans to consolidate Waycross College and South Georgia College in Douglas; Augusta State College and Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta; Middle Georgia College in Cochran and Macon State College; and Gainesville College with North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega.