By a unanimous vote, the state board of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) has given their approval for TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson to start the process to merge the administrations of Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) in Macon and Middle Georgia Technical College (MGTC) in Warner Robins.
The board’s action came during their monthly meeting, which was held in Savannah on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
The merger should be accomplished by July 1, 2013 and will create Georgia’s second-largest technical college. Last year, CGTC and MGTC, whose main campuses are less than 30 miles apart, had a combined enrollment of 16,027 students in technical education programs. Only Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta enrolled more.
Since 2009, the TCSG has used mergers as a way to reduce some administrative costs while creating larger, more efficient colleges. Once the CGTC-MGTC merger is complete, the system will have successfully merged 17 colleges into eight, leaving 24 colleges statewide.
As the previous mergers have shown, students at CGTC and MGTC should experience little change in the day-to-day operation of their campuses but will gain the benefit of the colleges’ shared instructional and technical resources. No campuses will be closed and the colleges’ other programs, including adult education, continuing education and customized workforce training for business and industry, will continue as before.
Jackson told the board that he will work with the colleges’ leadership, their local boards of directors and regional stakeholders to make sure that the merger process goes as smoothly as possible.
“Everything that we do will be in the very best interest of our students and their communities,” said Jackson. “Our intent is to create a fiscally stronger institution and one that makes the most strategic and efficient use of all of its education resources.”
Duplication of administrative roles could lead to several executive jobs being eliminated through attrition, reassignment, or a reduction in force.
Jackson will ask the boards of directors from both institutions to recommend a name for the college. They will also collaborate on a plan for a combined board of directors.
Dr. Ivan Allen will lead the merger process on the local level. Allen is the president of MGTC, but has been serving as the interim president of CGTC since Dr. Mike Moye retired on May 31. Jeff Scruggs, the vice president of economic development and institutional support services at MGTC, has been the college’s acting president during Allen’s absence.
“I have great confidence that Ivan Allen and Jeff Scruggs will make this merger work for everyone throughout the region,” said Jackson.
Allen emphasized that students come first in any and all merger plans.
“Moving forward, the goal will be to ensure that this merger results in enhanced opportunities for students throughout the region and to ensure that we deliver services in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible,” said Allen. “By combining the considerable strengths of both colleges, we will create a strong and vibrant force for economic development and community support. In the end, students will have enhanced access to quality education and training, and taxpayers will benefit from a streamlined and efficient delivery model.”
In the coming weeks, Jackson will announce his choice for a president for the combined college. The Warner Robins location will be considered the college’s primary campus, though the president will maintain another office on the Macon campus.
CGTC serves Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Jones, Monroe, Putnam and Twiggs counties. It has another campus in Milledgeville and training centers in Gray, Eatonton, Roberta, Forsyth and Jeffersonville. MGTC serves Dooly, Houston, Peach and Pulaski counties through its Warner Robins campus and training centers in Hawkinsville and Vienna.
On July 1, 2009, Chattahoochee Technical College, North Metro Technical College and Appalachian Technical College merged and became the new Chattahoochee Technical College; West Central Technical College and West Georgia Technical College formed the new West Georgia Technical College; Coosa Valley Technical College and Northwestern Technical College became Georgia Northwestern Technical College; and Southeastern Technical College and Swainsboro Technical College merged into the new Southeastern Technical College.
On July 1, 2010, Griffin Technical College and Flint River Technical College joined as Southern Crescent Technical College; and Valdosta Technical College and East Central Technical College became Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.
On July 1, 2011, Sandersville Technical College and Heart of Georgia Technical College merged and became Oconee Fall Line Technical College.
Enrollment at the 25 TCSG colleges grew at a record pace between 2008 and 2011, fueled in part by the large number of unemployed and under-employed Georgians who turned to the colleges to gain more knowledge and learn new skills. Last year, the TCSG enrolled more than 172,000 students and produced 35,000 graduates in certificate, diploma and degree programs. The TCSG also manages the state’s adult education and GED testing programs, as well as the internationally recognized Quick Start workforce training program for business and industry.
For more information about the TCSG, go to www.tcsg.edu
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