The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia has given their unanimous approval for TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson to initiate the process to merge Altamaha Technical College (ATC) and Okefenokee Technical College (OTC).
The board voted to consolidate the administrations of the two colleges during their monthly meeting at the TCSG headquarters in Atlanta on August 1.
The merger is expected to be accomplished by July 1, 2014.
The board also approved Jackson’s recommendation of Dr. Glenn Deibert, the current president of Okefenokee Technical College, to be the president of the merged colleges, effective July 1, 2014. Deibert will lead the process over the coming year, working in close collaboration with the acting president of Altamaha Technical College, Lonnie Roberts, and the faculty and staff of both colleges to ensure a smooth transition throughout the consolidation process.
Altamaha Technical College, which has its main campus in Jesup and branch campuses in Baxley, Brunswick, Hazlehurst and Kingsland, and Okefenokee Technical College, with a main campus in Waycross and a branch in Alma, together enrolled 4,326 students in credit classes last year.
There were 33 TCSG colleges in 2009. Since then, the system has used mergers as a way to reduce some administrative costs while creating larger, more efficient colleges. Today, there are 24 TCSG colleges.
Once the ATC - OTC merger is complete, the system will have merged 19 colleges into nine, resulting in 23 technical colleges statewide.
As the previous mergers have shown, students at ATC and OTC should experience little change in the day-to-day operation of their campuses. They will, however, gain from the benefit of a regional college that is more efficient financially and makes better use of shared instructional and technical resources among its campuses.
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