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Gainesville State, North Georgia may merge

Proposal to go before Board of Regents

POSTED: January 4, 2012 10:00 p.m.

ATLANTA — An official says a University System of Georgia proposal would merge eight college campuses across the state into four to save money.

The plan would include merging Gainesville State College in Oakwood with North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega.

The official told Associated Press on Wednesday that a merger list will go before the state Board of Regents for discussion next week. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official announcement is expected to be made Friday.

The official said the other proposed consolidations involve merging Waycross College with South Georgia College in Douglas; Augusta State College with the Georgia Health Sciences University; and Middle Georgia College with Macon State College.

University system spokesman John Millsaps and several members of the regents declined to comment.

Gov. Nathan Deal, in an interview with The Times on Wednesday, said he would support such a plan if presented.
"If you know that you have difficulties sustaining the current status quo, then how do you reform it and yet at the same time achieve the overall goals?" Deal said in his Capitol office.

"And that's what his (Chancellor Hank Huckaby) goal is, is to make sure the taxpayers of this state, that their dollars are being spent wisely in higher education. If you can avoid expenditures in one area and benefit students and education overall in another area, then those are the kind of choices that ought to be made and I support him in that."

Both Gainesville State president Martha Nesbitt and spokeswoman Sloan Jones declined to comment on the reported plan when contacted Wednesday night.

The proposed mergers were first reported by the Waycross Journal-Herald.

 



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