ASU president responds to state representative’s opposition of HBCU bills

University System of Georgia responds back to criticism
Marion Fedrick (Source: Albany State University)
Marion Fedrick (Source: Albany State University)
Published: Jul. 25, 2019 at 9:53 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Albany State University’s (ASU) president released a statement Tuesday in response to a House representative’s opposition to Senate Bills 273 and 278.

Rep. Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus), also dean of the Georgia House, wrote a letter to Steve Wrigley, University System of Georgia (USG) chancellor, strongly opposing the bills.

ASU President Marion Ross Fredrick issued a statement in response to Symre’s opposition of the bills.

“We appreciate the response of Rep. Calvin Smyre in his letter to Chancellor Steve Wrigley in opposition to Senate Bills 273 and 278. Representative Smyre is a strong supporter of our schools and has been in direct contact with all three HBCU presidents regarding SB 273 and 278. Rep. Smyre has asked the difficult questions and ascertained the negative impact that this bill would have on our institution. Albany State University plays a critical role in educating thousands of students and preparing them to be leaders in Southwest Georgia and beyond. SB 278 is unfavorable to Albany State and its constituents, and we do not support SB 278. We will continue to work with the University System of Georgia to increase graduation rates, maintain affordability, and increase efficiency.”

Marion Ross Fedrick

[ Senate Bill 273 states that ASU is one of three historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, that would all be under one uniform name. Senate Bill 278 states that the three HBCUs would keep their names but operate under a new system. ]

Wrigley issued a response to Smyre’s letter on Wednesday.

“We agree with your position,” Wrigley wrote in a letter. “The Board is committed to our HBCUs and their important role in the University System of Georgia. In fact, the three HBCUs play critical roles in our system, in their respective regions and across the state of Georgia. It’s mutually beneficial to both USG and the institutions to have our HBCUs fully engaged in system initiatives to raise graduation rates, maintain affordability and increase efficiency.”

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