KSU President Dan Papp said students at both schools will be included in the planning process each step of the way, from now until the consolidation is final in August 2015.
Papp assured SPSU students that the name of their school would remain on their diplomas at graduation, and insisted they would be as involved in the consolidation plans as KSU students and faculty would be.
“We’re doing everything we can to protect the history, the traditions and the names of both schools,” he said.
Differences will be seen on diplomas
Future graduates of KSU with engineering and technology degrees will still see the SPSU name on their diplomas, Papp promised.
Diplomas now only list the University’s name and student’s name and major, Papp said, but that will soon change.
Every matriculating student will now have the name of the college from which they graduated listed on their diploma, under a general banner with KSU’s full name and logo.
For education majors, their names will be listed along with the Bagwell College of Education; for business majors, the Coles College of Business.
For technology and engineering students, their names will be listed alongside something new.
The official name of the new college which will incorporate Southern Polytechnic’s faculty and students has yet to be decided, but will include the words, “Southern Polytechnic,” Papp predicted.
Committees forming now to plan the bulk of the consolidation
The official consolidation will be planned by as many students, faculty and alumni as possible, Papp said.
In January, those interested in getting their ideas included in the consolidation are encouraged to join a number of about 50 “Operational Work Groups,” or OWGs, Papp said.
There will be OWGs for alumni, student government, housing, dining services, Greek life, public safety and one for history and tradition.
“They will be looking at the nitty gritty details,” Papp said.
Merging two fully functioning schools will be a long and arduous process, made easier by the involvement of as many faculty, staff, students and alumni as possible, he said.
The OWG groups will write up plans on what they want the future of dining services, Greek life, etc. to look like at KSU after consolidation.
Still, some students are wary about how much their voices will be heard in these OWG groups.
Liv Hood, a junior technical communications major at SPSU said she didn’t think it was worth it to join a group, because the university administration had so-far “completely ignored us.”
Hood didn’t know of any SPSU students who were involved in an OWG yet, and was not planning to join one herself.
Hood was more concerned about how the future school would maintain the academic rigor she and her fellow SPSU students were accustomed to than what the Greek life organizations might look like.
“Everyone feels they won’t be included anymore,” Hood said.
Timeline for merger
There are a lot of minute details that need to be smoothed through before the schools present these written plans to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges in October 2014, Papp said.
He didn’t know what the future KSU would look like by the time the consolidation is expected to be finalized in August 2015, but was excited to see what the students and staff will draw up between January and September.
After the schools present the plans to the SACSCOC on Oct.1 2014, the regional committee is expected to approve the consolidation in Dec. 2014, and then pass the recommendation along to the state Board of Regents, which is expected to approve the consolidation in Jan. 2014, Papp said.
The consolidation is expected to be finalized in August 2015, when student diplomas will officially reflect individual colleges within KSU.
Students interested in joining an OWG are encouraged to keep their eyes out for sign-up sheets around campus when they return to school in January, Papp said.
The Student Government Associations at both schools will be responsible for forming the groups.