A new bill in the Georgia legislature calls for three state-operated historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to be placed into a new university system to be known as Georgia A&M University.
The three institutions in question — Savannah State University, Fort Valley State University and Albany State University — have a combined enrollment of nearly 14,000 students, according to U.S. Department of Education data.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Lester Jackson from Chatham County, would not eliminate the HBCU status of three universities, enabling them to continue to receive funds from federal programs earmarked for historically Black institutions.
Jackson, a graduate of Paine College in Augusta and dental school graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., said his plan would lead to greater efficiency in administration, cost savings and pooled resources that would benefit students at all three universities. He also said the merger would boost enrollments that have been declining in recent years at the three schools.