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Posted: Tuesday, February 26th 2013 at 1:08pm

UNG President gives consolidation update

By Marc Eggers Staff
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Dr. Bonita Jacobs
OAKWOOD – University of North Georgia President Dr. Bonita Jacobs told the South Hall Business Coalition that things were progressing nicely in the recent consolidation of Gainesville State College with North Georgia College and State University to form UNG.

"This region is the fastest growing region in the state, yet our 'college-going-rate' is not the highest in the state. If we can increase the 'college-going-rate' then we’re more attractive to bring in new business," Jacobs told the south Hall businessmen and women.

But Dr. Jacobs was quick to point out that the aim of the consolidation is not to conform the four campuses into one identical likeness, but to take advantage of the traditions and unique culture each campus had forged.

"Some say this is a blending. It’s not really a blending…" Jacobs said. "We absolutely must honor the culture of each campus," she said, explaining that, for instance, "the Corp of Cadets will remain on the Dahlonega campus."

Referring to the Gainesville campus she said, "We have to keep the things that Gainesville does very well here, and honor those traditions. What will happen with the Gainesville campus…because you have a lot of educational needs particularly in the medical field…so I see that we’ll add a lot more baccalaureate and masters programs."

"What we need to do is meet the needs of the city."

Regarding their Oconee campus, Dr. Jacobs again pointed to tradition: their tradition as a two-year school from which most students transfer easily into four-year institutions.

"My guess is it (the Oconee campus) most likely remains a two-year feeder institution, because it is in the shadow of the University of Georgia," Jacobs added. "I’m not sure we need another four-year institution there."

Dr. Jacobs finished her presentation by telling Coalition members that one area where improvement was needed was in the area of student scholarships.

"We’re going to be very focused on student scholarships; students are struggling to pay for their college. We're way behind our colleagues with having the kind of scholarships we need," Jacobs said.

Dr. Jacobs' formal inauguration as President of the University of North Georgia will take place April 26th.

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Gainesville, GA 30501
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