It’s official: Board of Regents approves consolidation of Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic
New consolidated university to be fully operational in fall 2015 KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 6, 2015…
Georgia (Jan 6, 2015) — New consolidated university to be fully operational in fall 2015
KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 6, 2015) — Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University will begin operating as a new consolidated Kennesaw State University following a vote Tuesday by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia during its January meeting.
The BOR’s approval is the final step in a yearlong process to consolidate the two Cobb County-based institutions. The new Kennesaw State will operate as a fully consolidated institution when classes begin in fall 2015.
“This is a historic moment for both institutions, for all the people who have worked so hard to bring consolidation about, and especially for all current and future students, faculty and staff of the new Kennesaw State,” said Daniel S. Papp, president of the consolidated University. “We are grateful that the Board has endorsed our plans for creating an exceptional university from two distinct institutions, and for combining our strengths and resources.”
University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby expressed his thoughts on the consolidation of the two universities.
"Our challenge and opportunity is to control the cost of college while strengthening the quality and accessibility of the programs and degrees we offer," said Huckaby. "The new Kennesaw State University will expand opportunities for students and do so more efficiently."
The new consolidated University will maintain campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta, the current sites of Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State, respectively. The institution will house 13 colleges:
- Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology
- College of Architecture and Construction Management
- College of the Arts
- College of Continuing and Professional Education
- College of Computing and Software Engineering
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- College of Science and Mathematics
- Leland and Clarice C. Bagwell College of Education
- Michael J. Coles College of Business
- WellStar College of Health and Human Services
- Graduate College
- Honors College
- University College
With an expected student enrollment of 32,000 in fall 2015, Kennesaw State will be one of the 50 largest public universities in the country, with an economic impact of more than $1.2 billion.
The BOR’s vote to approve the consolidation came almost a month after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) — a regional higher education accrediting body — approved a prospectus and strategic plan for the proposed consolidation. BOR approval was contingent on the SACSCOC’s approval of the plan.
Today’s vote by the BOR completes a process that began in November 2013, when the BOR recommended the consolidation of Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic. Since that time, a joint KSU-SPSU Consolidation Implementation Committee (CIC) consisting of 28 Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic administrators and faculty members met to plan and finalize the consolidation. The CIC relied on the work of 81 Operational Working Groups (OWGs), drawn from faculty, staff and students from both campuses, and throughout the year reviewed and approved recommendations as they came forward from the OWGs.
Prior to today’s BOR approval, the following milestones marked other key developments in the consolidation process:
On Nov. 1, 2013, University System of Georgia Chancellor Huckaby announced the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) would be asked to approve the beginning of the process to consolidate Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University, with KSU President Daniel S. Papp to head the consolidated KSU.
- On Nov. 12, 2013, the Board of Regents approved the beginning of the KSU-SPSU consolidation process.
- On Dec. 4, 2013, the Consolidation Implementation Committee held its first meeting at the USG’s Central Office to be charged by Chancellor Huckaby.
- On Jan. 13, 2014, the Expanded Consolidation Implementation Committee held its first meeting as the 81 Operational Work Groups were formally created.
- On April 7, 2014, President Papp announced the leadership, college structure and administrative composition of the consolidated University.
- On April 16, 2014, the Board of Regents approved the mission statement for the consolidated KSU.
- On May 22, 2014, Chancellor Huckaby named SPSU Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Ron Koger Interim President of SPSU after long-time SPSU President Lisa Rossbacher was named president of California’s Humboldt State University.
- On Oct. 1, 2014, the Consolidated Strategic Plan and Consolidation Prospectus for the new University was submitted to the SACSCOC.
- On Dec. 9, 2014, the SACSCOC approved the consolidation plan, leading to today’s final approval of the consolidation by the BOR.
The next several months will be consumed with completing SACSCOC requirements and finalizing operational aspects of consolidation, Papp said. “In many ways, this is only a beginning since we still have substantial work ahead of us.” This work includes:
- In July 2015, a detailed “Substantive Change Report” will be sent to SACSCOC.
- In late September 2015, a SACSCOC-appointed Visitation Team will travel to Kennesaw State for several days to ensure that the consolidated university is in full accord with SACSCOC principles of accreditation following consolidation. The Visitation Team will submit a report to SACSCOC.
- In December 2015, based on the Visitation Team report, SACSCOC will vote on the continued accreditation of the new Kennesaw State University.
The consolidation between Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University is the USG’s fifth and largest consolidation.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of nearly 26,000 students, soon to be almost 33,000 once consolidation with Southern Polytechnic State University is finalized, from 130 countries.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. 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, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.