In the continued trend to consolidation, the Georgia Board of Regents today announced:
Albany State University and Darton State College will consolidate to form one institution under a new dynamic vision for public higher education. Today, the Board of Regents approved a proposal from Chancellor Hank Huckaby to consolidate the two institutions to increase education attainment levels and transform how the University System impacts southwest Georgia. Today’s action marks the fourth round of consolidation within the University System.
The new institution will be named Albany State University, and the Board named Albany State Interim President Art Dunning as the permanent president of the new institution to lead this bold new effort.
“The consolidation of Albany State University and Darton State College is a historic milestone for these institutions, our university system, the Albany community and our state,” said Chairman Neil Pruitt. “We are creating an institution of nearly 9,000 students, which would be the largest institution of higher education in Southwest Georgia. We have the opportunity to transform how we serve the community and the region.”
“The consolidated institution, Albany State University, will continue to serve the HBCU mission and build on its mission and that of Darton State to serve students, the community and region,” said Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “We respect the passion the community, students and alumni hold for these institutions. The new Albany State University will blend the strengths and values of each institution to strengthen the community and region more deliberately.”
The decision to consolidate the two institutions, whose combined enrollment this fall is nearly 9,000 students, follows the six guiding principles for consolidation approved by the board in Nov. 2011.
An implementation team with representatives from both institutions will soon be formed and charged with the responsiblity to work out the many details associated with consolidating the two universities. A website will be created and dedicated to providing information and updates about the consolidation to both campuses and the Albany community.
The University System, Albany State and Darton State will hold campus and community listening sessions in the coming months to seek and hear input on ways to best design the new institution to serve Albany, the region and the state.
Albany State University, a state university in the Unviersity System of Georgia, fosters the growth and development of Southwest Georgia and the state through teaching/learning, research, creative expression and public service. Through its teaching, research and service, and collaboration with other institutions, the University anticipates and responds to the needs of its constituents; and enhances the quality of life of its publics through advocacy of educational, cultural, artistic and social development in the region. Both traditional and non-traditional students make up the more than 3,000 students who attend Albany State. The university offers more than 30 undergraduate degree programs, the Board of Regents’ engineering transfer program, a dual degree program in engineering with Georgia Tech and six advanced degrees.
Darton State College is a state college in the University System of Georgia. Its principal mission is to provide educational programs, services, and opportunities in southwest Georgia. Over 5,4000 traditional and non-traditional students attend Darton State College. The college offers a challenging array of associate-degree programs and limited bachelor’s degree programs as well as online degrees. As the nursing and allied health education center for southwest Georgia, Darton offers 13 allied health programs to serve the needs of the health-care industry in the region.
Also today, the Regents named Dr. Paul Jones president of Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia. Dr. Paul Jones will assume his new position on December 15.