Rally held in protest of KSU, Southern Poly merger - FOX 35 News Orlando

Rally held in protest of KSU, Southern Poly merger

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MARIETTA, Ga. -

A forum and rally were held Monday in response to the planned merger of two universities in Cobb County. The proposal calls for Southern Polytechnic State University to be merged with Kennesaw State University.

School officials have tried to reassure students about the proposed consolidation, saying that cost savings from the merger would be directed to the classroom.

"Any savings associated with the consolidation will be reinvested in the academic programs," said Southern Polytechnic President Lisa Rossbacher. "This is not meant to be cost savings in order to cut the institutional budgets, individually or combined."

The plan, which was announced by the university chancellor on Friday, calls for consolidation of the schools by 2015. The smaller Southern Polytechnic would be put under the umbrella of Kennesaw State.

The proposed change has stunned Southern Poly's 6,500 students.

"The two schools are rather different, and I would much rather have a Southern Poly education rather than Kennesaw State," Tyler Bedford said.

The planned merger comes as the state university system continues efforts to cut costs because of declines in state funding. Other college mergers were approved earlier this year.

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