KSU to become one of the largest public universities in the country

President Papp gives his annual Opening of the University address

KENNESAW, GA. (May 7, 2014) - Upon the expected completion of consolidation between Kennesaw State…

Georgia (Aug 15, 2014)KENNESAW, GA. (May 7, 2014) - Upon the expected completion of consolidation between Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University next year, the combined institution will be one of the 50th largest public universities in the country, with a combined economic impact of more than $1.2 billion.

“As most of you know, consolidation is an immense task,” said Kennesaw State President Dan Papp, during his 9th annual Opening of the University address Thursday. “When consolidation is completed next year, we will be a community of almost 40,000 people.”

Papp, who will also serve as president of the combined institution, said consolidation will boost the ranks of full-time faculty to 1,000 and full-time employees to 1,800. Total employment will swell to 6,000.

“We are no longer that small institution created in 1963,” he told the assembled crowd of faculty and staff.

Before consolidation can be completed, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the University System of Georgia Board of Regents must approve the merger; SACS approval is expected in December, followed by the Regents approval in January.

“Full operational consolidation will take place in the summer of 2015,” Papp said. “As a result, millions of dollars will be redirected to instruction, educational support and research.”

Papp said consolidation also will solidify Kennesaw State’s comprehensive university status, which was garnered last year. According to the Regents, a comprehensive university is master’s-dominant, with an emphasis on basic and applied research. KSU today offers 54 bachelor’s, 31 master’s and 10 doctoral degree programs.

“Teaching will remain the core focus of the consolidated university,” he said. “We are doing exactly what the Regents expect of us, maintaining our emphasis on teaching, even as we expand our emphasis on research, development, service and external funding.”

Papp also used his opening of school address to highlight many accomplishments from the previous fiscal year, including:

*The opening of the Bernard Zuckerman Museum (“The Bernard Zuckerman Museum was the first art museum to open in the University System of Georgia in over 30 years and the first new museum in the Atlanta area in the last decade.”);

*The purchase of the 180,000-square-foot BrandsMart building and its accompanying 722 parking spots (“I hope that means we don’t have to open another parking deck any time soon.”);

*Sixty-one percent of student-athletes won All Academic Honors in the Atlantic Sun Conference, with a combined GPA of more than a 3.0 (“Indeed, academics and education are the real reason we’re all here.”); and

*Funding for external research and service has grown from $2.3 million in 2002 to $10.7 million in fiscal year 2013 (“By any measure this is impressive.”).

Looking to the future, Papp touted the openings of the new Bagwell College of Education addition next spring; the opening of the Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center by summer 2015 and the expansion of the Sturgis Library in the fall.

To close, Papp quoted two of his favorite ‘70s hits from the rock group Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

“For years, KSU and SPSU have been ‘Taking Care of Business,’ but believe me, ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!’”

--Jennifer Hafer


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu