The consolidation process for Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University is on track and moving forward very smoothly.
The Consolidation Implementation Committee met this past week to continue work on the mission statement for the new university. The themes and concepts included in the mission statement were based on information solicited through a series of small group meetings held at both institutions and surveys. The process for drafting the mission statement was very positive thanks to the input we received and the fact that the core values and emphasis on student success at each institution are so similar. Following a review process with the staff at the University System of Georgia, we expect it to be ready for consideration and action by the Board of Regents soon.
Additionally, the committee reviewed the input received about the potential name for the new university. We received thousands of suggestions from students, faculty and staff, alumni, and community constituents through an online survey, emails and a series of small focus groups. The focus groups included representation from each institution and were comprised of faculty members selected by the Faculty Senate CEOs, staff members selected by the Staff Council presidents, and students selected by student leaders, as well as alumni and community leaders living in this region. More than 100 people participated in that part of the process. In this case, too, we are fortunate that there is a high degree of consensus to develop a short list of options. We will be discussing this a bit further and forwarding a recommendation to the USG soon.
Ideally, we will have these two major items resolved before the end of spring semester, as the results will guide some of the more detailed work of consolidation.
The day-to-day planning of consolidation is being directed by the Executive Planning Team, comprised of the current vice presidents of the two institutions. That group is in the process of developing and charging numerous work groups, with representatives from both Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University, to address the more detailed aspects of consolidation. The composition of those groups will be published soon.
Finally, we have produced a unified consolidation website to provide a single source of information about the process. It will be updated regularly and provides opportunities for constituents to ask questions through the site. The website is available at www.gscngcsu.org. We appreciate your patience with this complex process and value your input.
Bonita C. Jacobs, Ph.D.
North Georgia College & State University