Georgia Highlands College was stop 28 for Hank M. Huckaby, the newly selected Chancellor of the Board of Regents, who is the process of visiting all 35 colleges in the University System of Georgia.
Huckaby is no stranger to two year-institutions. He graduated with a associate degree from Young Harris College and went on to attend Georgia State for his bachelor’s and MBA.
He then continued to pursue his graduate studies at the University of Georgia.
The Chancellor addressed plans and changes to be made in the University System in several meetings with GHC administration, faculty and students.
“We have announced the intention to look at the possible consolidation of some of our colleges and schools. We’re one of the largest public university and college systems in the country, and we think there are some opportunities for efficiencies financially and academically,” said Huckaby.
The chancellor explained that the Board of Regents is not at the point of making any decisions or announcements yet, but is working on the guidelines to be used to make those recommendations.
Huckaby explained that at this stage there are no lists of merging schools and that all schools are a possibility.
There have been reports lately that with all the budget shortfalls the governor has decided to change the way the University System is funded and that funding might possibly be based on graduation numbers.
Huckaby said, “No. The governor has created by executive order a commission to look at the funding formula for the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System.”
Huckaby explained that as of now the system is funded by enrollment numbers and the governor would like to add a performance component to the mixture.
The criteria for the performance component of Georgia funding has not been set yet, according to Huckaby.
He said that he would like to see graduation rates become part of the formula but not for funding to be totally dependent on them.
Huckaby said that two-year institutions like GHC often provide a gateway to four-year institutions and often students only come to Georgia Highlands to obtain transfer credit.