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The Georgia State/Georgia Perimeter merger clears final hurdle. About to go down to 29 public higher ed institutions.

From the Board of Regents:

Today, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges gave its approval to the consolidation plans of Georgia State University and Georgia Perimeter College. Chancellor Hank Huckaby first announced the consolidation plans in January, 2015, to create the new, combined institution.

Officials from SACSCOC, the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education in the Southern states, announced the approval of the prospectus submitted for the new institution during the SACSCOC annual meeting held in Houston.

SACSCOC’s approval represents the final step needed for the Board of Regents to review and grant authorization for the consolidated institution to officially operate as the new Georgia State University. The board is scheduled to review the final recommendation for consolidation at its January 6, 2016, meeting.

“Georgia State is a recognized national leader in improving student success and will be able to apply its best practices to a broad student body from across the state,” said University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “Combining these attributes with Georgia Perimeter College’s leadership in providing access to students across the metro area presents a significant opportunity to improve student success. I thank the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges for its thoughtful assessment and approving, once again, a new University System institution.”

The new institution will maintain its access mission through Perimeter College, offering associate degrees while the main campus of Georgia State University will continue its research mission. With the completion of the consolidation, the number of institutions in the University System of Georgia will be reduced from 30 to 29.

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Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.