Savannah State, Georgia Southern Shared Programs Show the Next Phase of SSU’s Extinction

Almost two years ago to the day, University System of Georgia officials announced plans to consolidate Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State University in what was then billed as a cost-saving, enrollment boosting effort to save Georgia taxpayers money.

The move was a clear and present threat to Savannah State University then, and it is now an institutional homicide in progress against the historically black campus. SSU is now working with its new neighbor to offer degree pathways that physically take students away from the Savannah State campus, and gives Georgia Southern more degree granting opportunities.

From the Savannah Morning News:

Savannah State will offer a Homeland Security and Emergency Management degree at Georgia Southern’s Liberty campus in Hinesville in January, said Michael Laney, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Savannah State. Savannah State has developed a niche program leading to a bachelor’s degree in homeland security and emergency management.

A Savannah State certificate program in Virtual Forensic Science is scheduled to start next fall at Georgia Southern’s Liberty campus. Other GSU-SSU partnership programs will be offered in the future, with some originating from Georgia Southern and being offered to Savannah State students.

Ann Meyer – Savannah Morning News

Why is Savannah State offering a certificate program on the Georgia Southern campus? Why not offer the program on its own campus, specifically leading to its own bachelor’s degree instead of the GSU degree?

The partnership is designed to lower the barriers for students and “create pathways” from one school to the next. A student who completes the Virtual Forensic Science certificate from Savannah State at Georgia Southern’s Liberty campus might continue on for a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or biology at Georgia Southern.

Ann Meyer – Savannah Morning News

But here’s the real kicker – the wack justification for why this is a mutually beneficial program for SSU and GSU coming from Savannah State’s provost Michael Laney.

“The objective is to make it as easy as possible for the student,” Laney said. “At Savannah State, we know there are about 5,000 students who have passed through our institution who did not complete their degree because they ran out of money or life happens and they didn’t complete their degree,” he said. “We’re trying to reach out to these 5,000 students and find out, OK, you didn’t finish your degree, how can we help you get your degree done? What courses do you need?”

Michael Laney, Savannah State University Provost (Savannah Morning News)

The article goes on to outline other programs where Savannah State students can begin at SSU but earn degrees at other Georgia public institutions, or where students from those predominantly white institutions can transfer into Savannah State for degrees. One example provided by Dr. Laney – transferring out of a PWI engineering degree into an SSU engineering technology degree.

Aside from the nearly $10,000 difference in entry-level salary and minuscule transfer potential from a school like Georgia Tech to SSU, the larger issue is why Savannah State officials are advocating to lose more students than the 17 percent loss over the last two years?

For a state which avoided consolidating SSU with Armstrong State in the same vein as its Albany State University model, this version of knocking a black college off the map with shared programs and student redirection is among the most nefarious, and possibly illegal forms of HBCU discrimination going today.

The new year is shaping up to look like the last two years in Georgia, and that’s a terrible sign for the state and for the HBCU sector at large.

Cue Kendrick. (Audio NSFW)

  1. Sad state of affair, but the blame should be placed on the SSU administration for not holding the courses on SSU grounds. Further, this administration should establish the resources to build the programs on their property. These courses are going to be in demand and SSU could have build the infrastructure around it. However, the lack of hustle and big thinking is going to sink SSU.

  2. They do not have the money or resources to keep those professors or to offer those classes so the next best thing would be to offer those classes on GSU campus so those students would then be motivated to re enroll. Almost like how Ga Southern allows East Ga students to take classes at southern at the East ga tuition prices

  3. The institutional racist higher education policies in the state of georgia’s plan all along was to shut down SSU. I agree that the blind administration at SSU should have seen that. The way you shut down HBCU’s blueprint is out there. You either starve them with the state resources or you combine programs with PWI’s so there degree has the PWI on it and not the HBCU they parnered with. We have seen this before in Maryland, Florida, Lousiana, and now Georgia. The only differences is the aforementioned states are somewhat fighting theirs except in this case georgia SSU is just bending over and letting it happen.

  4. SSU doesn’t get to choose its presidents. With that said, it’s logical to conclude that the Board of Regents we’re sending its cronies(presidents) to SSU to oversee the institution’s demise. For example: SSU’s move back to D2.

    I don’t remember reading or hearing from any news outlet that SSU’s Athletes Department was in need of resources, nor were there a public campaign to raise and solicit funds for athletics. Where did the administration think the resources were going to come from? This goes beyond incompetence and borderlines sabotage. He hasn’t mattered which president the BOR has sent SSU’s way, their administration did not have SSU’s best interest at heart.

  5. SSU could have chosen it’s last president. When the current present was interim she convinced a strong portion of the SSU national alum association to petition the regents to break it’s rule and hire her as president. This is a self inflicted wound people need to be honest about. And honestly ssu folks know they should have never been in division 1. They know the finances were not there and the alumni culture is not one thay pushed the admin to be accountanac for putting the finances in place.

    The bigger issue is that there the ssu culture among alum leads them to not understanding the health of the institution until it’s too late. Then they act blindsided. With failing indicators for years among other issues the national alumni association will not take a public or private position against this administration.

  6. Let’s not mislead folks into believing that SSU could have chosen its last President that notion is preposterous and lacks logic. SSU alumni could influence the process, and did so foolishly after Cheryl Dozier begged and campaigned for the position. Ultimately, the University System of Georgia is responsible for presidential appointments and competent leadership. As a matter of fact the National Alumni Association appealed the Board to appoint or conduct a search for the best and brightest leadership.

    As far as Division I goes, we should have held her responsible for taking athletics serious —- ALL OF US. I appealed to this group to watch how Dozier would be the system’s do girl for years. Many of you did nothing, the others wanted to trust Dozier and the Systems Office.

    1. I am ok with saying the regents will ultimately choose among finalist, but a search could have at least been an effort to weed our obvious inept people like the current present. And it is up to alumni on the search committee to take the process seriously, do their job instead of treating it like a status symbol. We should also not mislead about alums role in this. To request a search is one thing, but some of those same folks went backdoor at the same time and advocate for her appointment.

      As far as athletics go it’s hard to blame division one failure on the currenr admin when the root cause is that alumni did not hold incompetent admin that got us in to this position to start with. Let’s not forget that the president back then did not add a single sport during the 2 year transition period from D1 to do and the NCAA denied us d1 status. That was the red flag we were in trouble. The alum mad at the move back to d2 now are the same ones who were not interested in holding the admin accountable back then.

      This is very indicative of the flip floppung nature of ssu alum.

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