Asking the important questions now. Armstrong-Georgia Southern merger
January 12th, 2017 @ 6:05 pm


Armstrong State University will host a Town Hall Meeting that is open to the public on Thursday, January 19, at 4:30…

Posted by Armstrong State University on Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ok, so now that the merger, I mean takeover, of Armstrong by GSU has been approved, they have scheduled a town hall at Armstrong.

Since they are soliciting questions for it, I e-mailed the following questions to the solicitation e-mail. I also left a few comments with my question. I tried not to be rude, but assertive.

My question list:

  1. Who suggested this merger? I’m not taking about the announcement from a few days ago.  I am talking about the VERY first day this came up.
  2. When was it decided it was to be Georgia Southern and Armstrong to merge? Again, I’m not taking about the announcement from a few days ago.  I am talking about the VERY first day this came up. We know it didn’t take less than a week to do the study on this merger.
  3. How long has this merger been in the works without public input? Be honest with us. The dishonesty shown in this merger so far has led to a lot of anger.
  4. When did the faculty and staff of both school find out about this merger?
  5. What will happen to the student athletes of Armstrong? I think they are getting the worst deal in this all.
  6. Why are we waiting until AFTER the official vote to perform town halls and meetings to perform the merger with a deadline of 1/1/18 for the merge? Look, I understand wanting to keep people from ruining this for the BORUSG, but the way this has been handled has been poor.  Instead of trying to get us to to rally behind this, all this has done is foster anger and worry that this is a dirty deal.
  7. What are the benefits for Savannah? Are classes moving?  Will both campuses be offering classes for a major? Not every student who goes to Armstrong wanted to go to GSU.  Not every student going to Armstrong has the capacity to handle a school the size of GSU.  Not every person in Savannah wants to drive to GSU.
  8. How will tuition costs be handled?  Are you going to increase the fees at Armstrong to subside GSU. How do we know if the money for Armstrong will be reinvested into Armstrong? I think this is a major factor that should have been addressed as trying to pass this merger along.

I hope the Alumni Association and the majority of the faculty and staff knows that the anger of this takeover is not directed towards them. They are getting the wrath of the public, including from me, but they are the facilitators between the public and the administrators at the Georgia Southern, Armstrong, and The Board of Regents. The administrators behind this quick push of the merger without public input BEFORE the fact is where my anger lies.

And that is why I am pushing these questions. It’s why I’m going to that meeting. I want accountability from them. I want the truth.

In the Savannah Morning News article posted today, there is the quote from the president of Armstrong (I can not type her name. I have never liked that woman since she took over.):

Our student athletes’ wherewithal will be maintained. If they have been promised a scholarship, that scholarship will continue. We will not turn students out.

Is she just deaf to the outcry from others? The comments on the petition have other stories. Is she telling me to kids that have been told one thing is wrong? I hope an athlete with a different story speaks up and explain their situation.

In the same article:

Asked about the commute after the meeting, Georgia Southern President Jaimie Hebert said there are already students and staff commuting to Statesboro from Savannah and Hinesville and vice versa.

“It’s not a long commute in this day and age,” Hebert said. “… All of these roadways and commutes exist already. What we have the opportunity to do now is improve on those efficiencies of those commutes and the offerings for those students.”

Again, are they bullheaded?

Does it matter if the commute is nothing today? It’s the fact many of us don’t want to make the commute. At the moment, some of us are going to have to assume the improvement is shifting majors to a single campus, i.e nursing to Savannah and Liberal Arts and Technology to Statesboro. Wouldn’t that be the efficiency they are talking about?

I had a Facebook friend mentioned that she went to Armstrong because she had public transportation available to commute to the school. Unless GSU can have an express shuttle bus between Statesboro and Savannah, people trying to better themselves, but left at the mercy of public transportation to get to school will not be able to go to GSU. They will choose to go to Savannah State if transportation is their major factor.

I urge people concerned and/or anger about this merger takeover to submit questions and attend/or stream the town hall next Thursday.

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