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Georgia Southern president speaks on consolidation plans

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Dr. Jaimie Hebert will be president of the newly consolidated Georgia Southern-Armstrong State (Credit: Shelbey Roberts)

The logistic planning continues as Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State University prepare to consolidate. It's a daunting change not only for students and staff, but also the leadership behind the change.

"Anytime you have the lives of students and the hope of students in your hands, there's some intimidation," said Dr. Jaimie Hebert, Georgia Southern's current president. He says he's feeling the pressure since he'll be leading the schools once they're brought together.

During last week's town hall meetings, Hebert and Armstrong State's president, Dr. Linda Bleicken, addressed some concerns. They promised that Armstrong-endowed scholarships will be honored, they'll maintain the student-faculty ratio and there won't be additional tuition increases in the immediate future.

"I think the majority of people will live with answers one way or another. But it's the lack of answers that is causing so much consternation right now," Hebert said.

The future of the sports programs and athletic coaches are unknown right now. But, the athletic directors from both schools will give their input while serving on the 40-member consolidation improvement committee.

"We will begin work on an athletic plan for the consolidation immediately," said Herbert.

Hebert said he's been most surprised with the culture of compassion that's come from Georgia Southern students to Armstrong Students and his goal is to keep it that way.

"That's where our power is, is in our culture, not in numbers, not in acquisition. It's in pulling together strong people," Hebert said.

If you have questions about the consolidation you can visit Georgia Southern's FAQ page or email consilidation@georgiasouthern.edu