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University officials discuss merger
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The presidents of Georgia Southern and Armstrong State universities talked consolidation during a forum at Tuesday’s meeting of the Hinesville Rotary Club.

Hosted by Michele Ricketson, the forum was at Connections Church.

It included remarks from Dr. Jamie Herbert of Georgia Southern and Dr. Linda Bleicken of Armstrong State, who also participated in a question and answer session regarding the merger of the two schools, which was announced Jan. 11.

Hebert will lead implementation of the consolidation, which is scheduled to take place in January 2018, and classes won’t begin until the fall. In addition, the Georgia Board of Regents has to approve the final plan, which will be submitted in December.

Among the issues discussed were the name of the merged campuses — Georgia Southern — and which name will be on diplomas given to graduates who attend Armstrong now. That depends on the timing, Hebert said.

He said there are a lot of details to be worked out, but providing the widest educational opportunity to students is the priority. Both he and Bleicken said one of the goals is keeping almost 500 students at Armstrong’s Liberty Center, and Hebert said officials are assessing program offerings in an effort to optimize student opportunities at all three campuses.

Here is a link listing the 41 member consolidation implementation committee:

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