Georgia Senator’s Bill Would Place Three HBCUs Into a New University System

A new bill introduced in the Georgia legislature would remove three historically Black state-operated universities from the University System of Georgia and place them into a new university system named Georgia A&M University. The three historically Black state universities that are part of the plan are Savannah State University, Fort Valley State University, and Albany State University. Combined the three schools enroll nearly 14,000 students, according to the latest data supplied to the U.S. Department of Education.

The bill is sponsored by Senator Lester G. Jackson, an African American from Chatham County, Georgia. Dr. Jackson’s plan would not eliminate the HBCU status of three universities, enabling them to continue to receive funds from federal programs earmarked for historically Black institutions. Dr. Jackson believes that his plan would lead to greater efficiency in administration, cost savings, and pooled resources that would benefit students at all three universities. This, in turn, would boost enrollments that have been declining in recent years at the state-operated HBCUs.

In addition to his legislative duties, Dr. Jackson also serves as dentist in Savannah. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Medical College of Georgia and Armstrong Atlantic State University. Dr. Jackson is a graduate of Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, and earned his dental degree at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Cynthia Anderson says:

    I am not sure about the combining of the three HSBC’s; they will certainly lose their identity as individual colleges. Additionally, the combination of the three colleges may be economically beneficial, which will allow their continuity.

    I’m torn…

    • Edward Valeau says:

      As a former college CEO, this plan weakens the HBCUs and will likely be welcomed by the Legislature which is White. Why are we giving away our higher education legacy. Rescind this bad idea!!!!Sad
      Dr. Edward J Valeau

  2. Carole R. Taylor says:

    There are just too many unknown factors to remove these universities from the USG. What about retirement funds of older faculty, federal funds for Fort Valley State as an 1890 institution since none of the other 2 schools are so designated, or libraries under the GALILEO even presidential responsibilities?

  3. Audrey Battiste says:

    I think this is a bad idea with good intentions. Isolating these three schools from the U of Ga system will make it easier to get rid of them. In one fell swoop they can be underfunded without impacting the other schools in the system. Georgia nor the country is in a giving mood to support HBCUs and this plays into their hands.

  4. Donald Ray Jenkins says:

    Audrey Battiste has made my point.

  5. Georgia C. Hobbs says:

    This is a bad idea. Why not fund the three institutions at the same level as other institutions in the system? It does not matter that a Black man introduced the bill. He is not a graduate of either of the schools involved. His own school, Paine College is in a fight for survival.

  6. Abayomi K Ojore says:

    I totally agree with an aforementioned comment. This is a bad idea with good intentions which would probably certainly be approved by a primarily white legislature to the demise an three HBCUs.

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