Four universities are to become two in the latest round of mergers approved by the University System of Georgia.
The Board of Regents voted on Wednesday to begin the consolidations, the Associated Press reports. The mergers will take effect as early as the fall of 2018.
Armstrong State University, in Savannah, and Georgia Southern University, in Statesboro, will merge under the Georgia Southern name, bringing the total number of students at the university to around 27,000. And Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, in Tifton, will be merged with Bainbridge State College. Both campuses will use the Abraham Baldwin name and have a total of about 6,000 students.
The mergers will mark the fifth round of consolidations approved by the board since 2012, indicating that mergers have become a popular strategy in the state to save money and share resources.
In a news release, Steve Wrigley, the system’s chancellor, said that the latest mergers would allow the system to “reinvest savings into academics to improve student success.”
WALB News reports that some students and professors at Armstrong State felt as if the proposals had come out of nowhere. “It would have been nice to have a little more heads-up that this was happening,” said Tony Morris, a professor.