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Monday, November 19, 2012 - 2:15am

Regents Merge Skidaway, UGA

The state university system is folding Savannah's Skidaway Institute of Oceanography into the University of Georgia.

Both schools conduct marine research.

Skidaway and UGA already work closely both in terms of locations and their missions unlocking the secrets of Georgia's economically important coast.

The Institute's James Sander's explains while UGA tends to academics, Skidaway is more focused on pure research.

"Skidaway's background and principal focus is in research," Sanders says. "The University of Georgia and its marine sciences department have an academic mission which is focused on education research and service."

Sanders says he believes the move will help align all of the coast's marine interests.

"Anytime you can take two medium sized groups and bring them together I think you make some efficiencies of scale," Sanders says. "We'll see areas where we complement one another and perhaps new research and educational opportunities and endeavors will grow out of this merger."

The move comes a year after state officials combined eight other colleges and universities into four.

It's expected to be made official in January.

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