The merger: Progress being made as KSU, SPSU come together
January 01, 2014 11:00 PM | 4146 views | 0 0 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Few local stories of 2013 came as more of a bombshell than the fall announcement that the state Board of Regents had decided to merge Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University. Nor did many stories create as much ill-will as the merger announcement, which angered many at SPSU wary of the effects of seeing an engineering school and its premier reputation overwhelmed by the much larger KSU, a liberal-arts college.

To their credit, the presidents of the two schools, Dr. Dan Papp of KSU and Dr. Lisa Rossbacher of SPSU, seem to be working harmoniously to ensure the transition goes as seamlessly as possible.

Papp has moved quickly to ally one of the most frequently expressed complaints from SPSUers, who were dismayed that their future diplomas might say only “Kennesaw State University,” thereby making them arguably less marketable as engineers in the job market.

Papp, however, told the MDJ last week that future KSU engineering and technology graduates will receive diplomas that still include the SPSU name. In fact, all matriculating students will have the name of the college from which they graduated listed on their diplomas beneath a banner bearing the full name and logo of KSU, he said. To cite other examples, diplomas of education majors will display the words “Bagwell College of Education” and diplomas of business majors will have the name “Coles College of Business.”

The name of KSU’s new engineering and technology college has not been finalized, but will include the words “Southern Polytechnic,” Papp added.

Meanwhile, faculty and students of the two schools interested in adding their input to the merger process are being encouraged to join 50 or so “Operational Work Groups,” which variously will focus on items like alumni, student government, housing, dining services, Greek life, public safety, and history/traditions.

“They will be looking at the nitty-gritty details,” Papp said.

KSU and SPSU will submit written plans for the merger to accrediting agency the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in October. The process of combining the schools is expected to be complete by August 2015.

Much work — in fact, most of the work — remains to be done. But we’re confident that the “new” KSU that emerges will be one of Cobb’s “crown jewels,” just like the present KSU and SPSU long have been.

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