The University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the merger of Albany State University and Darton State College, a move pushed forward by system Chancellor Henry “Hank” M. Huckaby.
Huckaby, who presides over 30 public colleges and universities across the state and oversees an $8.1 billion annual budget, says that the move will improve student achievement as well as cut costs.
Shelley Nickel, the system’s vice chancellor for planning and implementation, told the regents that enrollment at Albany State, a historically Black university, has fallen by 25 percent since 2011 and enrollment at nearby Darton State has dropped by 14 percent since 2012. Darton State is a two-year college.
The consolidated schools will retain the name Albany State University and have an enrollment of 9,000 students. Albany State University interim President Art Dunning also was named permanent president of the consolidated university.