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Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 6:32am

Skidaway-UGA Merger Complete

The state's 46-year-old marine sciences research center near Savannah is now part of the University of Georgia.

Campus officials say the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, founded in 1967, has completed a merger that places it under UGA's administration. The 700-acre campus on Skidaway Island operated independently within the state University System for more than four decades. The Board of Regents ordered the merger in January as part of a system-wide effort to streamline operations.

The merger officially took effect at the start of July. The change essentially means that Jim Sanders, executive director of the Skidaway Institute, now reports to the UGA provost's office.

The Skidaway Institute conducts research in oceanography and marine science. UGA President Jere Morehead says the merger creates new opportunities for research, teaching and outreach.