I was surprised and saddened to learn of the upcoming merger of Southern Polytechnic and Kennesaw State University.
I am privileged to have graduated from and to have worked for two of Georgia’s premier Universities: Emory and the Georgia Tech. Emory, nationally recognized for the liberal arts with emphasis on science and medicine, and Georgia Tech, one of the USA’s premier engineering schools, complement each other because they are separate institutions with separate missions. Today they partner with many common goals and together they help drive the economic engine of Georgia.
In much the same way, Southern Polytechnic and Kennesaw State have prospered because of their separate identities and missions. In the past they helped drive the economic engine of Cobb County and through their success and growth are now major positive factors in Georgia’s economic growth.
Combining the schools cannot help but dilute their missions. Combined, they will be less of a factor in elevating Georgia than if they remain separate.
Merging Southern Polytechnic and Kennesaw State will cost the state much more that the few million dollars it saves in the short run. The decision to combine these schools is an example of being penny-wise and pound foolish with the students and the economic future of our state.
James R. Galt, Ph.D.