ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The decision is official and final. Albany State University and Darton State College will soon merge.
In a very short meeting, an extremely important decision was made. Albany State University and Darton State College will consolidate to become the largest institution of higher education in southwest Georgia, ending a junior college that began in 1966.
The Chancellor of the Board of Regents says this will be a process that requires input from the community.
Folks at today's Board of Regents meeting applauded the approval of the merger. "We hope that this will accomplish our primary goal of educating more students and will really serve as an economic driver for Albany and that region of the state," said Regents Chair Neil Pruitt.
The Board of Regents says the consolidation is one that took a lot of thought and experience gained from their six previous consolidations.
"We've seen that they work," said Chancellor Hank Huckaby. "They're successful. They're achieving what we want them to achieve. We thought that the dynamics were in place. The need certainly was there. And we were going to give it a go."
The new institution will be named Albany State University. Chairman Pruitt says with the current decline in enrollment for both colleges, this merger is a step in the right direction.
"By blending the access mission with the historically black college and university mission, we think that we can achieve more. So it's not where we've been, it's where we are going. And we think there is a bright future ahead of us."
There will be campus and community listening sessions in the coming months to hear input. The consolidation is projected to happen January of 2017.
An implementation team will soon be formed with representatives from both institutions to work out the many details associated with this consolidation.
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