the shake

General Info.

Why consolidate the two institutions?

We must constantly assess ourselves to ensure we have a 21st Century structure that provides the most effective system of institutions offering the proper range of degrees, services and opportunities for students and faculty. We are committed to the long-term, sustainable health of public higher education in Southwest Georgia and our partnership with the Albany community. Creating one Albany State will strengthen the institution and creates a milestone opportunity to design specific, tailored programs and services students and employers want and expect in the region. This is the fourth round of consolidations for the University System.

Who will be the president of the consolidated institution?

Albany State President Art Dunning is expected to lead the new consolidated institution.

Why these institutions now?

We have said all along we will be considering more consolidations. We must constantly assess ourselves to ensure we have a 21st century structure that provides the most effective system of institutions offering the proper range of degrees, services and opportunities for students and faculty. This is the fourth round of consolidations for the University System.

Will Albany State remain an HBCU?

Yes, we recognize this is a historic milestone for Albany State. We are committed to continuing to serve the HBCU mission and building upon the mission to serve students, the region and the state.

Will Darton’s access mission continue?

Yes, we recognize the key role Darton has played in meeting the access mission and offering workforce-related associates’ degrees. Darton’s access mission will be continued under the consolidated institution and associates’ degrees will be offered.

What about these institutions’ enrollment challenges? Will consolidation help?

Creating one university will strengthen the institution to better address enrollment challenges by developing specific, tailored programs and services that students and employers want and expect in the region and statewide.

Consolidation will enable the institution to respond to enrollment challenges by concentrating recruitment and retention resources in a single institution.

What about both institutions’ financial health? Will consolidation help?

Consolidation does present an opportunity to better steward the combined financial resources for the long-term sustainable health of the newly consolidated Albany State University.

How much money will be saved?

Reducing administrative costs and functions is a goal of consolidating institutions, but it will not be a quick process. It is anticipated it will take at least 18 months to implement the consolidation of the individual institutions and to properly calculate savings attained by the action. Savings will occur from decreased administrative costs and increased service efficiencies. Savings will then be reinvested for academic and instructional needs for students.

Will there be layoffs?

A decrease in the number of jobs will likely occur, but until details are worked out it is not possible to know how many or which ones. Certain administrative functions will be combined, resulting in the need for fewer positions over time.

When will the consolidation go into effect?

Pending approval by the Board, we will immediately begin the consolidation review and implementation process. We will provide updates along the way. Timing of when the consolidation goes into effect is expected in 2017.

How will this be done?

The process will be transparent and will heavily involve each campus but with final approval of all decisions residing with the Board. An institutional implementation committee will be formed, which will include representatives of faculty, staff and administration. It is expected the majority of decisions will be made at the institutional level subject to final approval by the Board. University System office staff will provide overall leadership to the implementation effort, but the campus committee will be identifying and recommending the resolutions for key issues. The committee will be formed and begin work immediately.

How will the campuses and community be able to provide input?

We plan to hold campus and community listening sessions to seek and hear input on the ways we can best design the new institution to serve Albany, the region and the state and to build on what is best in both institutions.

How can I know what is going on? How do I get answers to my questions?

Both institutions’ presidents will be involved in the consolidation. A website for the consolidation will be set up to keep campuses and the community informed. The consolidation committee will have a chair, who will serve as the lead contact point for the committee. Shelley Nickel, Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Affairs, will serve as the point of contact in the USG office.

Students

How will students have a voice in the implementation of the consolidation?

There will be student representation on the institutional consolidation committee.

When will this change go into effect?

2017 is the targeted date for the consolidation to go into effect for students, but this could change depending on the needs of the institution.

How will this affect student activities?

The consolidation implementation committee will review the level and type of student activities now available to students at both institutions and develop an approach which provides the best mix of student activities on all campuses.

What will my diploma say?

The consolidation implementation committee will address these and other issues in a way that meets the needs of students. In some cases, students already enrolled may have choices as to the institutional name on their diploma.

How will this affect student activities?

The consolidation implementation committee will review the level and type of student activities now available to students at both institutions and develop an approach which provides the best mix of student activities on all campuses.

What will my diploma say?

The consolidation implementation committee will address these and other issues in a way that meets the needs of students. In some cases, students already enrolled may have choices as to the institutional name on their diploma.

How will my tuition and fees change?

The Board sets tuition and fees and will continue to do so for the newly consolidated institution. The implementation team may recommend a change from the current structure to the Board once the consolidation has been implemented.

How will consolidation affect tuition and fees for students seeking a certificate or associate’s degree compared to a bachelor’s or master’s degree?

We anticipate the newly consolidated institution will offer a dual-tuition structure that distinguishes separate tracks for an associate’s degree compared with a bachelor’s degree. The University System has experience in addressing this issue in prior consolidations, where two separate tuition structures were implemented with the new institution for an associate’s degree compared with a bachelor’s degree.

Will my degree requirements change?

Every effort will be made to honor the current degree requirements for existing students. Institutions will be given flexibility to matriculate students already enrolled in specific academic programs.

Will I get the courses I need to complete my degree?

Yes, this will be required by the Board and is a major responsibility for the consolidated institution.

Will some academic programs be discontinued?

There will be a comprehensive review of all academic programs offered by both institutions in order to develop the optimum program array for the consolidated institution. As a result, the possibility exists that academic programs may be continued, modified or discontinued.

Will my adviser change?

It is possible that one’s academic adviser will change given the need to deploy faculty in the most effective and efficient manner required at each institution.

Faculty

How will faculty have a voice in the implementation of the consolidation?

There will be faculty representation on the consolidation implementation committee, which will be established to guide the consolidation process. Existing faculty governance processes on both of the consolidated institutions may also be used to provide faculty voice in the consolidation process. Final decisions on policy matters still reside with the Board of Regents.

How will this affect individuals who are up for promotion and tenure during the consolidation timeline?

It won’t. The Provost will work with Deans, Department Chairs and other campus leaders to create a comprehensive list of those eligible for promotion and tenure during the period of consolidation. Based upon the final list, faculty will be informed of timelines for these actions.

Will the expectations/guidelines for promotion and tenure change?

Because faculty promotion expectations are grounded in institutional mission, it is possible that tenure and promotion guidelines may change. The Provost (in conjunction with the Deans, Department Chairs, faculty leaders and other institutional staff) will work in conjunction with the Board of Regents to determine the new guidelines appropriate to the mission of the consolidated institution and the appropriate procedures to implement the new performance expectations. Such changes will not go into effect right away.

How will this affect campus leadership and administration?

The President will build a new leadership team. The expectation is that there will be high-level involvement of faculty and staff in the building of new governance and communication structures.

Where and when will I be teaching?

This will be determined by the appropriate academic leadership at the institution.

What role will distance education play in the consolidated institutions?

In order for institutions to help increased numbers of Georgians complete their postsecondary education, new System initiatives are being developed to add and enhance distance education opportunities. Students and faculty in the consolidated institution will be strongly encouraged to bridge geographic distances via improved distance education.

Staff

How will Staff have a voice in the implementation of the consolidation?

Staff will be represented on the consolidation implementation committee.

Will all administrative staff retain their positions?

Over time there will likely be a reduction in staff positions, but it is not possible to know which ones at this time. The implementation committee working with the President will determine the new administrative structure.

Will I have to relocate?

Decisions affecting individuals will take place as part of the implementation process. It is possible that relocations could occur.

Facilities

Will buildings or facilities be shut down as a result of the consolidation?

The system wide space utilization study, not just consolidation, will inform and frame these types of questions. Ultimately, the President of the institution must make these decisions locally as we strive for efficiency and effectiveness at all USG institutions.

How will institution PPV projects be impacted?

The USG will work with the consolidated institution and foundation to ensure a smooth transition of ventures projects through the consolidation.

How/when will all the signs be replaced (on-campus as well as directional from major roads)?

The implementation/transition team will coordinate these types of logistics and timelines within overarching target dates that will be established.