Armstrong, Georgia Southern Consolidation Raises Questions

Jan 11, 2017

Georgia Southern and Armstrong State Universities will combine under the name Georgia Southern University. The state Board of Regents approved the consolidation Wednesday.

Armstrong students and alumni have been critical of the plan, pointing to Armstrong's history in Savannah and the distance between the schools.

Senior Sierra Rothbarth said she is leaning against the merger - but mostly she had a lot of unanswered questions, including "tuition fees, how athletics are going to go through, how the degree programs - how they're going to consolidate those," she said. "What's going to be basically listed on our degrees would be nice to know too."

Freshman Brandon Shannon-White said he thinks it could be a good thing - at least for some students. "I play basketball, so, it might be a benefit, going D-1 and stuff like that," he said.

Others have raised questions about what the consolidation will mean for Armstrong's student athletes.

The board said a team with representatives from both schools will form soon to work out the details of the consolidation. They will gather community input as part of that process.

In a statement, the board said athletic scholarships will be honored and that answers for the athletic programs will be an early priority for the consolidation team.

At Wednesday's meeting, the board also approved the consolidation of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Bainbridge State College.

The state university system has conducted seven consolidations in recent years, according to the AJC  – most recently combing Albany State University and Darton State College.