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College consolidation committee to review four recommendations

POSTED: March 3, 2017 1:44 p.m.

The Armstrong State University/Georgia Southern University Consolidation Implementation Committee (CIC) will review four key recommendations developed by the Operational Working Groups at its meeting today regarding the naming of campuses and support for student athletes. 

Preserving the name and legacy of Armstrong State University is a priority for the CIC and will be an important part of the new Georgia Southern University. These recommendations reflect the views of the campus community, including Armstrong’s alumni leaders.

“We are pleased to be moving forward with recommendations focusing on the naming of the Savannah and Hinesville campuses as well as athletics,” said Georgia Southern University President Jaimie L. Hebert.

“We are grateful to Armstrong’s alumni, students, faculty and staff, who played an important role in developing and vetting the naming recommendation that will be reviewed by the Consolidation Implementation Committee. This is a prime example of the great care and concern that goes into decisions at every stage of this process.” 

In addition, the Athletics working group has worked diligently to form recommendations concerning athletics to ensure that student-athletes have the information needed to make informed decisions about their athletic and academic careers.

“Providing answers to questions affecting Armstrong’s student-athletes, including scholarships as well as transfer status, has been a high priority for the Consolidation Implementation Committee,” said Armstrong State University President Linda M. Bleicken.

“We want to ensure that our student-athletes have as many options as possible as the consolidation process moves forward. I am grateful for the collaboration between Armstrong and Georgia Southern representatives as we work to combine the strengths of two impressive institutions with a shared commitment to student success.”

At today’s CIC meeting, the following recommendations will be presented for consideration:

-          Naming of campuses in Savannah and Hinesville: The Savannah campus of the new Georgia Southern University will be formally named the Armstrong Campus and the Hinesville campus will be formally named the Liberty Campus.

-          Name preservation: All named structures at Armstrong State University will retain their names after consolidation.

-          Athletic scholarships: All athletics-related scholarships for affected student athletes will be honored, provided students are making satisfactory academic progress. This plan will allow student athletes who are affected by the consolidation to continue to pursue their college degree at Armstrong and the new Georgia Southern University.

-          Transfer status for Division II student-athletes: The new Georgia Southern University will compete in Division I athletics. Armstrong State University currently competes in Division II athletics. Student-athletes at Armstrong will be immediately issued open transfer status by Armstrong’s athletic administration, with the exception of softball, whose playing season is currently in progress. When softball season has concluded, the participating student athletes will immediately be issued an open transfer status by Armstrong’s athletic administration. Open transfer status means student athletes do not have to sit out a year if they have the opportunity to play for another college or university.

Detailed information regarding scholarships and transfer status will available on the consolidation website,http://consolidation.georgiasouthern.edu/. Decisions about Armstrong State’s 2017-2018 athletic season and the long-term plan for intercollegiate athletics on the current Armstrong campus will be made at a later date.

On Jan. 11, 2017, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia voted to consolidate Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University, ultimately creating a new Georgia Southern University with three campus locations in Savannah, Hinesville and Statesboro. The Consolidation Implementation Committee, Functional Area co-chairs and Operational Working Groups uniting Armstrong and Georgia Southern faculty and staff will spend the coming months examining and working through all aspects of the consolidation.

The CIC will submit for consideration a prospectus for the new university to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in September 2017 and to the Board of Regents in December 2017. If approved, the effective start date for the new institution will be January 2018. The tentative timeline for the first entering class of the new Georgia Southern University will be in fall of 2018.

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