Georgia university system considers consolidating campuses to save money
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 15, 2011
After years of expansion, college leaders took the University System of Georgia down a different path Wednesday by discussing campus consolidations and other steps to save money.
Chancellor Hank Huckaby said the system will review whether college mergers would be cost-effective and develop criteria to determine potential candidates among the 35 campuses.
It's too soon to say how many campuses would be impacted or how much money it would save, but this represents a shift in priorities for a system that opened a new school -- Georgia Gwinnett College -- in 2006.
Huckaby also announced a systemwide study of how colleges use existing buildings to determine if, and where, new construction may be needed. He also called for the system office to collaborate more with colleges and architects on construction proposals and designs. Both steps address concerns about growing construction costs, he said.
These initiatives come as the system has grappled with cuts in state funding, and with students paying 9 percent more in tuition and fees this year.
Lawmakers said the steps recognize the state's economic reality and demonstrate a revitalized University System and board.