ALBANY, GA (WALB) - There's still a lot to do over the next six months, but Albany State University's president said that the school's merger with Darton State College is still on schedule to be finalized in January.
President Dunning has filled more leadership roles, and work continues to fill more important positions on the campus as the merger of the two institutions moves forward.
As Albany State students go about their summer course work, administrators continued to work on the merger with Darton State College.
President Dunning announced that Olufunke Fontenot will take over on Friday as the interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
Dr. Fontenot has more than 30 years experience in higher education. Dunning said she's skilled at working with faculty in making decisions, which will be key in the merger with Darton.
"I wanted someone who could lead the academic side of the house with a deep understanding of what the outcome should look like, but also the journey through which you should take to get there," said Dunning.
There are several other key positions Dunning is working to fill, including Director of Athletics.
Dunning said that the perfect candidate would understand tradition, fundraising and ethics.
"But especially on the fundraising side because it's costly to have at any university in the nation right now to have collegiate athletics to make that work," explained Dunning
Dunning said that the university is on track to finalizing its merger but it hasn't been an easy task.
"And anytime you have that number of decisions and you're bringing to campuses together," said Dunning. "They're the normal technical and operational things that always sometimes are challenging but if you bring goodwill and a body of knowledge to process, you can get those done."
Despite all of the changes, Dunning said ASU will keep its HBCU status and many of the two-year degree programs now available at Darton will continue.
Dunning also plans to have all positions filled by the end of the year.
The consolidation is expected to be complete in January.