College presidents answer merger questions at town hall - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

College presidents answer merger questions at town hall

The presidents from both Darton and ASU answered questions about the merger at a town hall Thursday night. (Source: WALB) The presidents from both Darton and ASU answered questions about the merger at a town hall Thursday night. (Source: WALB)
They said that they want to keep the public informed about the consolidation process. (Source: WALB) They said that they want to keep the public informed about the consolidation process. (Source: WALB)
Dr. Art Dunning (Source: WALB) Dr. Art Dunning (Source: WALB)
Dr. Richard Carvajal (Source: WALB) Dr. Richard Carvajal (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

People gathered at an Albany church to learn more about the Albany State University and Darton State College merger.

The Presidents of both institutions answered questions from the public Thursday night.

They said that they want to keep the public informed about the consolidation process. 

The presidents said that they're looking for more groups who are interested in learning about the consolidation.

Dr. Art Dunning and and Dr. Richard Carvajal are keeping the community in the loop on the consolidation progress of both colleges.

"It's great to be able to talk about the progress because it's going really well," said Carvajal.

Thursday's town hall meeting partnered with the Albany Civil Rights Institute at Shiloh Baptist Church. 

"This is a very complicated and complex process and so the more we can explain to the community what's happening I think we are all better served for that," explained Dunning.

The format of the forum required people to submit written questions, and that didn't sit well with some people who wanted to ask their questions directly.

"That some of this needs to be verbal by the audience. I will submit my written card, but I feel cheated," said Arthur K. Williams.

The consolidation will be the seventh in the University System of Georgia. College leaders expect the combined school will have an enrollment of 9,000 students, making it the largest university in Southwest Georgia. 

Dr. Richard Carvajal

"It helps us to be able to get in an address the "why" and talk about the specifics of the economic condition that we're trying to improve," said Carvajal.

Officials said that they should know what enrollment numbers will look like hopefully by Summer. 

Dr. Art Dunning

"We expect to know that soon, but in many ways many of the students at Darton as well as Albany State they register late and that's been sort of the culture and the history," explained Dunning. "We're trying to encourage people to register early."

How the campuses will be divided and how transportation between the two will be handled are also still up in the air. 

"We have an operational working group that will help us determine the location of programs and the location of people," said Dunning. "It'll be a very data driven process."

The new ASU will have five colleges and the consolidation is expected to be complete in January. 

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