An accreditation agency approved plans to allow the State Board of Regents to merge eight colleges into four, dropping the number of colleges in the state's university system from 35 to 31.
The step is the first move toward authorizing the consolidated colleges to begin operations and to appoint presidents.
The consolidation was a move by Chancellor Hank Huckaby to mitigate economic issues and budget cuts impacting the state's colleges.
Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities will merge into one school. Waycross and South Georgia colleges will also become one school. Macon State and Middle Georgia colleges will merge, and Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University will also become one school.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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