Southern Poly students don’t go quietly into merger
by Nikki Wiley
November 04, 2013 11:59 PM | 10469 views | 39 39 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Daniel Papp, president of Kennesaw State University, and Southern Polytechnic State President Dr. Lisa Rossbacher, listen carefully to questions posed to them during a public forum on the merger of the two schools. 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.
Dr. Daniel Papp, president of Kennesaw State University, and Southern Polytechnic State President Dr. Lisa Rossbacher, listen carefully to questions posed to them during a public forum on the merger of the two schools. 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.
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MARIETTA — Southern Polytechnic State University students are calling a plan to merge their school with Kennesaw State University a hostile takeover.

They worry the value of their degrees will be cheapened and say the school’s identity will cease to exist.

And, they say, there are plenty of reasons they didn’t opt to attend Kennesaw State in the first place, such as SPSU’s small class sizes and the school’s laser focus on technology.

KSU President Dan Papp supports the plan and tried to assuage students’ fears at a forum on the SPSU campus Monday evening.

The University System of Georgia said on Friday that it plans to ask the Board of Regents later this month to sign off on a plan to merge the Marietta-based SPSU with Kennesaw State University, 10 miles northwest. The consolidation would need final approval in January 2015.

KSU, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in October, is the third-largest university in the University System of Georgia with 25,000 students. SPSU has just over 6,500 students and more than half of them had signed petitions protesting the planned merger as of Monday evening.

The combined enrollment would be around 31,178 students.

Papp says the schools are already similar.

Though SPSU has a focus on engineering and technology and Kennesaw State takes a liberal arts approach, Papp said the schools have similar demographics and entrance requirements.

Similar or dissimilar programs?

Their degree programs complement one another, Papp said Monday in an address to Southern Polytechnic students on their Marietta campus.

“We all know they don’t,” Briana Fountain, an architecture student, said at the forum. “Are you in this because you’re going to be president of a new super school?”

Fountain received thunderous applause as did her classmates who also shot skeptical questions toward Papp. The forum hosted in the school’s theater brought in a standing-room-only crowd and had to be broadcast into two overflow rooms to accommodate all of the students who wanted to attend.

Still, Papp maintains the two campuses have more in common than students believe.

“You might think that you’re all that different, but there’s a number of similarities,” Papp said.

What’s in a name?

For some, the name Southern Polytechnic alone was a key factor in their decision to attend the school.

Shelby Silcox, a computer science student, says companies know that graduates from SPSU are well-trained and hard workers. The name her degree would carry if she graduates from the university’s computer science program is enough to open doors.

Now, she’s planning to load up on extra classes to ensure that she gets to call herself a graduate of Southern Polytechnic.

Following the contentious forum where students asked questions filled with animosity toward Papp, students gathered outside the school’s student center heatedly making their case that the two schools should stay separate.

Students have launched a petition on Change.org that had 4,334 signatures Monday night.

If the Board of Regents approves the merger, the new university will operate under the name of Kennesaw State University. Southern Polytechnic State University will cease to exist, and its colors and mascots will be replaced with those of Kennesaw State.

“This place is part of my identity,” said Albert Cousins, who graduated from the college in 2008, standing in a crowd of passionate students.

Botched planning?

For some, it’s not the merger itself they find fault with. It’s the way the plan was announced.

The school seemed to be out of the woods when the University System of Georgia merged eight state colleges into four last year hoping to reduce administrative costs, but again found itself on the chopping block this year.

“I’m just appalled that they didn’t try to get our input, especially about the name and colors,” Silcox said.

Brittany Williams, an electrical engineering student, wishes the students had been allowed some input before the decision was handed down.

“I think it wouldn’t be as big of a deal if they had consulted us,” Williams said. “They literally just sent us an email.”

Amber Lawson, an SPSU alumna, also called the move “very quick and very swift.”

Elizabeth Fokes, a graduate student studying information technology, said the two schools are “radically different” and fears losing Southern Polytechnic’s brand name.

“I promise that if SPSU stays, I will donate to the alumni association,” Fokes said. “If we become KSU, you won’t see a dime.”

The students’ response is “totally understandable,” Papp said.

“We want to preserve the traditions of Southern Poly. Heck, I was president at Southern Poly. I know what a great place it is,” Papp said.

He served as interim president of the university from 1997-98 before becoming president of Kennesaw State.

Full impact still unknown

Papp says he still has “no idea whatsoever” how many jobs will be affected or how much savings will be seen if the universities merge.

He also can’t say for certain the fate of all of the degree programs offered now at both KSU and SPSU.

At the forum held on Southern Polytechnic’s campus, Papp placed a great deal of the blame for the decision on the Board of Regents and said much of the details will be worked out by an implementation team.

That team will be chosen over the next week, and once it is approved by the Board of Regents, it will target overlapping services and identify what departments may need to be cut.

Further showing that the full impact of the merger is unknown, SPSU President Lisa Rossbacher responded to a student’s question asking if he has job security in his position at the campus recreation center by saying, “Let me be the first to point out that none of us do.”

Though Papp will be the president of the merged universities and Rossbacher’s future with the school is unclear, she says she is committed to preserving the identity and brand of Southern Polytechnic.

She’s been taken aback by the response of students.

“It’s been interesting and in a way sort of gratifying to hear this sort of outpouring of support,” Rossbacher said.

Papp said he wasn’t told of the plan to merge until two weeks ago, although he said the conversation began about five years ago.

Rossbacher said on Friday, the day the merger plan was announced, that she had only been told of the plan the day before.

Still, Papp said he doesn’t know what kind of savings the merger will bring or what jobs could be in danger.

“We have no idea how much savings to be redirected,” Papp said, adding that any money saved will be invested in instruction, educational support and research.

Papp told a group of business leaders at a Cobb Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Monday that “the winner, again, will be the students.”

“This consolidation really provides a good complementary set of programs that will fit together quite nicely,” Papp said. “At Kennesaw State, with the combination of Southern Poly and Kennesaw State, we look to do some really interesting multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary things.”

Comments
(39)
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KSUClassof2000
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November 06, 2013
You kids can complain all you want, this merger is happening. What you should be doing is thinking about the possibilities of the expanded resources KSU will bring to your programs of study. KSU and Dr. Papp are actively working to improve the academic opportunities - as well as the reputation - of the university. But those of you turning up your nose at KSU do so with no understanding of the quality of academics there. We have two physics professors that have contributed to the work on the Higgs-Bosun that won the Nobel Prize this year. We have a young lady who just won a Goldwater scholarship, studies biochemistry, and just finished an internship at MIT over the summer where she worked on materials engineering. How many SPSU students were working at MIT last summer?

One of my good friends at KSU earned two degrees: a BA in International Affairs, and a BS in Biology. She went to Tulane Medical school and is now a doctor and serving US Army officer. Our science background is strong enough to handle running a 'college of engineering' under the larger university.

You wonder why SPSU seems to get the short end of the stick here? Perhaps it's because you people have zero influence in Atlanta, and your administration has done little to play the game and even get to know the Cobb County legislative delegation. You can't blame Dan Papp; he schmoozed. Rossbacher didn't, and you see where it's getting your school. Complain about how it's "all politics." Maybe it is. But if you're not even going to try to play and influence the game, then you will be bypassed or "merged." You kids want to complain, you need to look to your own backyard/administration for the culprits. If Rossbacher had been more active advocating for SPSU, then this wouldn't be such a "shock" for everyone.
RLAJ
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December 16, 2013
KSU 2000, which one were you? These are the KSU Majors:

Bachelor of Arts B.A.

• African and African Diaspora Studies

• Art History

• Dance

• English

• Geography

• History

• International Affairs

• Modern Language & Culture

• Music

• Theater and Performance Studies

Not seeing greatness here, not difficult to see why an Engineering Student would want to keep his school, and Diploma pure.
anonymous
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November 05, 2013
"We have to pass it so we can see what's in it". Sound familiar??????
SPSU Alumn
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November 05, 2013
Many are not aware, but this exact situation in Augusta, GA. Augusta State University and The Medical College of GA were merged in the exact same manner. Alumni cut donations, students started petitions, and after the merger went through the residents of Augusta began fighting for the name. A massive campaign (Save the "A") was launched in order to save the name "Augusta". Again, this fell through and the name Georgia Regents University was chosen.

If the new name didn't make it obvious already... This has nothing to do with the students, the alumni, the history, or the curriculum. This is not a foolish move on the part of our state. Your voices are heard by the media, but are not a factor in the outcome. Unless the top-top contributors cut out, you are all about to witness the exact same outcome. This is a financial move, not a strategic move for the greater good. I hate to play such a pessimist in this situation, but I just watched it happen before my eyes nearly a year ago. I just can't see this playing out any differently folks.
anonymous
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November 08, 2013
Not taking any offense to KSU or SPSU, but MCG and Augusta State were 2 completely different schools with differing programs. MCG was mostly a graduate, medical school while ASU is a local, homegrown college with an average graduation rate of 6 years. Completely ends of the spectrum. Not to mention, MCG has hospitals located with it, contracts with other nationally recognized hospitals for internships and residencies. MCG has been around since 1828 and is recognized world wide as an excellent medical institution, now its rich history ceases to exist. A a recent GRU grad, I have to legally tell my patients I graduated from GRU, not MCG which is a major blow as that looks like I went to an online Med School.

The board of regents does not care about your whining. They do not care about your petitions, we petitioned and petitioned hard. The former MCG petitioned hard and ASU petitioned hard, neither of us wanted to lose our identity and become a school we were not. This comes down to money. Do with it what you want, but they simply do not care.
Southern Poly Alum
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November 05, 2013
Moliere, I graduated from Southern Poly in Engineering and I have a MBA from a Top Tier school. Since starting out my career, I have beat out students from Cal-Berkley, Ga Tech, Duke and UCLA for top jobs. Southern Poly is a Top tier engineering school in the Southeast (facts). Ga Tech is a theortical based research school and Poly is theortical based school with real world application. We rank every year in the top 10 nationally in Construction, Mechanica Enginering and Civil Engineering Competition. We even beat Ga Tech in steel bridge and race car competition every year.(not bad)

Secondly, Employers want application based solutions, which is what Poly is. I know first hand because ive been in the room with Senior Executives, Have you Moliere ?

Secondly, to say that students at Southern Poly could not attend Ga Tech is follish talk by someone who does not have a engineering degree. While I was a student at Southern Poly alot of students from Ga Tech transferred to Southern Poly and did not want to go back to Ga Tech when they could have got back in. (facts)
KSUClassof2000
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November 06, 2013
The average incoming GPA for KSU - 3.2

Average incoming GPA for SPSU - 3.28

Test scores about the same. So tell me again how most of your students could get into Tech with 3.28 GPAs? You guys need to drop the hyperbole and start thinking about the opportunities this merger will present for you.
John Galt
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November 05, 2013
Simple solution: take our dozen or so students studying psychology and send them to KSU. Bring the students studying math, CS, chemistry, and physics from KSU to SPSU.

Oh - and by the way to the GT people chiming in. You really have no dog in this fight. We really don't give a d*** what you think. I'm sorry if that hurts your inflated ego.
AtlantaGuy
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November 05, 2013
I love reading all of these comments coming from students who really don't understand any of the economics of the merger and only are thinking with their emotions - what are you all going to do in the real world where things happen like this on a daily basis?

Even more humorous are the "parents" posting saying that they are taking their kid out immediately! Come on guys, us parents are not that irrational.

Anyways, SPSU students if you were so worried about your reputation why didn't you just go to Georgia Tech? Stop lying about the "small community feel" that is why you chose SPSU, be realistic. You all didn't have the grades to get in to GT, and you would of chosen the third best engineering school in the country over SPSU any day if given the option. So really, was the SPSU name-brand that valuable to you before you studied there? Nope, it was just your only option.

Now your thinking like a tax payer who funds your school.

AtlantaGuy V2.0
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November 06, 2013
You are trying to sound so intelligent, but you cannot even use the correct form of the word "you're" in your last sentence. I am working in the "real world" and almost every single employer I talk to says they will hire SPSU graduates over Tech graduates any day. Explain that for me?

Contrary to your "know-it-all" attitude that you seem to have, lots of students have the grades to go to Tech, but simply choose not to. Sorry to break your heart. We know the economics of the merger and blah blah blah, we just don't want the SPSU reputation to be another thing in this country taken away for the sake of saving a few dollars.
on balance
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November 05, 2013
Perhaps the curriculum at SPSU wasn't liberal enough for Georgia's education leaders. The focus on technology instead of liberal programs may have stuck in the craws ever growing liberals who use our schools to indoctrinate our youth in the path of socialism.

Or maybe, SPSU was not giving discount education to illegal immigrants.
C23
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November 05, 2013
If this merger is for the students then why is pretty much every SPSU student and alumni against it? Why did they thrust this decision upon everyone instead of asking for input from the students when this idea first came to be? If Dan Papp said they have a plan then why doesn't he, or anyone else, know how many jobs will be lost/affected or what kind of savings will be had? He said he has no idea whatsoever what the financial impact or job impact will be. Why even make this plan public before you know any of these things? Seems to me everyone is money hungry and assumes that this merger will make them money, although they have no idea if this is true because no one has done any actual research. All Papp seems to know is that if they merge then he will be making a lot more money and that is all he cares about.

A degree from SPSU has weight and merit. When an employer finds out you graduated from SPSU you are almost guaranteed a job. I know this from experience. No offense to KSU, but if an employer hears you received an engineering degree from KSU, they will turn their head to the side and say "really"? The degree you receive from SPSU will simply not have the same job impact and merit as that same degree coming from KSU, and that is one of the main things students are concerned with. Sadly, this isn't even being taken into consideration due to the money crazy blinders the system has on. Once again money and greed try to take over while not even giving so much as a glance to what is really important..THE STUDENTS! That's what college is for, not to make as much money as possible for the President or everyone involved that we do not even know about.
SPSU PARENT
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November 05, 2013
I am sad for the kids involved in this so called merger. I tell my son the decision is a done deal. All you can do is ask them to consider letting every current student earn a SPSU diploma as they intended. He will be transferring out of the school by next fall because of this.
spsu alum one
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November 05, 2013
I can't fathom why the MDJ and local leaders and community involved residents haven't chimed in on the support and benefits in keeping SPSU as SPSU. I don't see a downside to keeping them as is where it's not difficult to see what the merger will lead to: potential students who want a more technical and small school focus WILL GO ELSEWHERE...NOT TO KSU. Not to slam KSU but honestly if I'm looking for engineering or technical related higher education or environment for learning it then KSU would have zero appeal.
??
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November 05, 2013
Big thing is head count Federal money matching funds will go to KSU the step children will go without. Poly Tech will help fund the sports at KSU they will let the step children from Ploy Tech watch. Welcome to Papp’s plantation and you though slavery and Jim Crowe laws were gone.
moliere
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November 05, 2013
They will go elsewhere? There is nowhere else to go. Unless that is DeVry or someplace. Despite the claims otherwise from a lot of the alumni, if these kids were able to get into Tech or could handle Tech, they'd be there. Sure, there are other engineering/ET programs in the state i.e. Georgia Southern, but how different would attending an engineering program at "a liberal arts school" at Southern be from doing the same at KSU/SPSU? If you want to seek employment in the metro Atlanta job market, that favors KSU/SPSU in spades.
mechatronic spsu
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November 05, 2013
I got in to Gatech and pick SPSU for the New mechatronics engineering degree program. Very few school offer that degree. And I am looking forward to having a degree from SPSU. SPSU could be a leader in that engineering field.

Honestly, if I saw ksu had a engineering program as a HS senior I would not even consider it since the focus is not engineering. It is just a sucker-punch this whole thing. just out of no where for most of us students...
spsu alum one
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November 05, 2013
Nowhere else to go? How hard have you researched engineering & engineering tech-focused schools? There are many but unfortunately not in our state. In GA the lack of them is even MORE reason not to merge SPSU not make them less so. If SPSU were not so close to KSU this wouldn't be happening and there is more behind this I suspect than is being disclosed - a few pulling the strings as usual and our local "leaders" with nothing but the fear of reduced campaign donations to guide them.
TerriKR
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November 06, 2013
"They will go elsewhere? There is nowhere else to go. Unless that is DeVry or someplace. Despite the claims otherwise from a lot of the alumni, if these kids were able to get into Tech or could handle Tech, they'd be there."

How irritating. That's not true. Some kids (like my son) was able to get into Tech and instead he chose SPSU because 1) he would not be a number there, 2) the financial burden on his family would not be so painful and 3) an SPSU engineering degree still had merit. You are assuming that Tech is the end all be all of schools. It is bloody not.

Bad decision
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November 05, 2013
Who came up with this smart decision? Local Cobb county "leaders"? Leave Southern Tech alone, it has done very well. It does not need KSU.
Regents - Opulence
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November 05, 2013
The Regents are trying to save money? What about their gross spending habits with all of the opulent buildings and facilities they have built on Georgia campuses over the years? Did their out of control spending habits benefit them in any way? It sure helped the construction companies. There was no need to specify Taj Mahals everywhere. In the end, students suffer.
UGA unbiased observe
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November 05, 2013
For years we've read how Lisa Rossbacher has been applying all over the country for other jobs, which she did not get. We've seen Dan Papp's obviously good personality and connections raising him to the top and galvanizing him against controversies such as the socialist they wanted to hire for Provost.

We've seen SPSU embrace diversity (to the detriment of, for example, admitting veterans and/or building a better program to serve them in favor of foreign students) while KSU has built a wonderful Veterans program.

Let us know, MDJ, how the state legislators have played a role in this "merger" and how politics have made the difference in which schools were targeted by them and the chancellor system. Just curious. By the way students, you don't matter....don't you get that part?
moliere
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November 05, 2013
Lots of veterans attend SPSU, so take your baiting comments elsewhere. The only reason why SPSU is more diverse than KSU is because A) it contains a ton of engineering students who do not have the grades to get into Tech and B) Marietta is far less racially homogenous than Kennesaw. The last point is big, as we are only a few years removed from when blacks were as scared to venture into Kennesaw and north Cobb, let alone send their teenagers to spend 4 years of their lives there, as they were Forsyth County and the north Georgia mountain towns like Young Harris. As Kennesaw gets more diverse (like Marietta/Smyrna did), KSU will become more diverse also. And this merger will result in even more Atlanta kids who can't get into Georgia Tech (and Georgia State) coming to KSU than there are now. And when that happens, people like you who resent their going to college in the first place will keep claiming that they are taking the spot of someone more deserving.
Southern Techie
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November 05, 2013
One thing you are totally correct about and that is Politics plays a huge role in the University System of GA. How many politicians do you know who are engineering graduates? That is why you do not hear the movers and shakers in Cobb county saying anything. They cannot relate to engineering because they are business grads and lawyers. Southern Tech had to really beg for any politicians to fight the school's recognition in the 1970s and 1980s and it has never stopped.

Politics equates into Money. Money builds and grows the schools. Why do you think KSU is getting a football team? Money.

And since the liberal arts schools outnumber the engineering schools, they receive more money and attention. Those who run GA are business graduates, not engineering graduates. The old saying in Atlanta is GT built Atlanta and UGA runs it. BUT Georgia needs to move beyond that mentality, because technology is what generates jobs and advances this state and this country now.

Dr. Cheshire did when he was our first president and Dr. Rossbacher now promotes Southern Poly grads to engineering firms both in GA and out. For many years it was said a Southern Tech grad was more well known outside GA than inside GA. GA needs to update their thinking.
Happy, happy
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November 05, 2013
Of course Papp loves this. Its going to be ALL his. Jobs will be lost, courses will be dropped, and naturally, at this point, no one knows NOTHING! Sort of like the Obama administration. The president of SPSU was treated shabbily and the students' preferences were totally ignored. But Papp is happy as a lark. Well, I guess so.
papp smear
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November 05, 2013
"Papp said he wasn’t told of the plan to merge until two weeks ago, although he said the conversation began about five years ago."

The PLAN.. Hmm. That is something different than the DECISION. A PLAN is something on paper in a finalized state. Papp's wiggle statement leaves the door open to him being heavily involved in everything about this merger for five years, but a finalized, printed 'PLAN' wasn't placed on his desk two weeks ago, when he reports that he was "told of the plan to merge."

So, he has a plan, HOWEVER, he "doesn’t know what kind of savings the merger will bring or what jobs could be in danger. We have no idea how much savings to be redirected." That is QUITE a plan, isn't it. I am amazed they were able to get it printed and on his desk two weeks ago with all that detail.

"This consolidation really provides a good complementary set of programs." What does "complementary" mean? It means distinct parts that do not overlap. It is a wiggly way of saying the programs are entirely different. I will give that to Papp. The programs are indeed wholly unrelated to each other. That is why they are freaking different universities!

If the Regents were not just putting pillows under Papp's Patootie with this merger, it would instead be a merger with Life University next door to SPSU. Their programs are even more "complementary" than Kennesaw's and SPSU's prorgrams. Nobody knows if a merger of Life and SPSU would bring any savings either, so a merger of Life and SPSU would make far more sense than a merger of...

AHHH now I get it!!! I am writing for them right now, having fallen for their scheme, hook line and sinker. THIS is the plan: Somebody is supposed to say "If we HAVE to merge, why not merge with Life next door instead of Kennesaw," and the Regents will say "Oh golly why didn't WE think of that, GREAT idea!" and then the SPSU students will say "PHEW at least it wasn't Kennesaw Nursing College" and the Regents will smile all the way to the bank, and the Life University kids won't even notice because they are all kind of idiots having involved themselves in a four year student loan scam aren't they.

Seriously, kids, acting school has a better likelihood of a payback on your tuition than Life has. If you are reading this, get out now.
view from left field
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November 06, 2013
You do realize that Life is a PRIVATE institution and the board of Regents could not merge SPSU with Life if they wanted to?
Common Ground
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November 05, 2013
This merger is not the best. Georgia Tech would be closer to the mission of Southern Poly. Not Kennessaw State.

That is what the students are trying to tell you. The focus on applied Math and Science is not the same at Kennesaw State and eveyone knows it.

Southern Poly should be expanded no merged. Just think of the possibilites.
AtlantaGuy
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November 05, 2013
A merger with a school with the same mission would create more conflict. This is what you SPSU students don't realize, your programs will not be touched like if SPSU merged with GT.

Plus GT's entering class has a GPA of 3.94, not 3.28 - GT would not even consider your school.
An SPSU Student
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November 05, 2013
If the students are supposed to be the winners, why are they all so vehemently opposed?
James Anders
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November 05, 2013
Required reading:

http://mdjonline.com/bookmark/23979983-KSU-SPSU-merger-makes-no-sense
moliere
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November 05, 2013
It is required reading only for people who A) do not realize that in other states most universities are comprehensive and not specialized and B) do not realize that if SPSU were "merged" with Georgia Tech, it would just mean that kids who currently cannot get into Georgia Tech not having anyplace to go to become engineers, which is why SPSU was created in the first place.

A lot of the people complaining are pretending that they could have gone to Georgia Tech had they wanted to and SPSU is this much higher regarded and elite school but it isn't true. It isn't true historically, when SPSU was created to offer engineering technology majors for kids who Tech felt couldn't handle an engineering curriculum, and it certainly isn't true now, when Georgia Tech is one of the most difficult public schools to gain admittance to in the entire country. Kids who get into Georgia Tech also get into places like Duke, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Cal-Berkeley, Texas and the Ivy League schools. You don't merge an AAU school that is rated one of the top 10-15 public schools in the country with a school that doesn't even offer doctoral programs. Even HBCU's like North Carolina A&T, FAMU and Howard offer doctoral degrees in engineering. SPSU doesn't. That is why the "SPSU should merge with Georgia Tech" makes no sense. It wouldn't even make sense to merge GSU or UGA with Georgia Tech because neither of those schools are anywhere close to Tech in reputation either. It will take 10-15 years for UGA to join Georgia Tech in the AAU, and Georgia State will never get there at all.

Really, people, SPSU and KSU are far more similar than SPSU and Georgia Tech are. Georgia Tech is much more similar to Cal Tech and MIT than SPSU or any other college in Georgia. Sorry, but those are the facts.
Class of 76
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November 05, 2013
Alot of interesting comments. How many people know that Southern Tech used to be a part of Georgia Tech? I graduated in 76 and we were a division of GT. Unfortunately we were treated like aredheaded step child with regards to funding, athletics, computer time etc and the Students decided it was time to make a change and for us to cut the cord with GT. FOrtunately that happened and Southern Tech has built a very good reputation with business due to the quality education their hires bring with them from Southern Tech. I find it interesting comments regarding students at ST couldnt get into GT. Some of us preferred smaller classrooms and teaching on a more personal scale than many students at GT. I've worked as an engineer for 37 years and work alongside engineers from GT, Auburn, Alabama, Miami, Tennessee, Southern Tech and even a few from MIT and believe me the one from Southern Tech are as good as any. This may be a done deal with KSU but lets hope the alumni can drum up some support for leaving as is or possibly partner back with GT
John Galt
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November 05, 2013
Hey Moliere,

To your comment: "

A lot of the people complaining are pretending that they could have gone to Georgia Tech had they wanted to and SPSU is this much higher regarded and elite school but it isn't true."

I was accepted to GA Tech twice - but chose to go to Southern Poly for several reasons (price, hands on labs, class size, etc.).

SPSU Student
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November 05, 2013
You'd think if there were so many self evident compliments between the schools that President Papp would be able to quickly articulate them. Instead he repeats himself as though it is a self evident truth.

If this were truly a merger SPSU administration would have learned at the same time as KSU, not weeks later right before an announcement.
KSU Person
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November 05, 2013
It's "Complements" not "compliments."

I learned that at KSU.
Hornet Alum
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November 05, 2013
I don't usually chime in on things like this but after reading the ignorant cheap shots taken at SPSU through comments on this board i can not help myself. For those of you obvious none Engineers out there that like to take shots at SPSU students for "not being able to handle GT or not being able to get into GT" Let me educate you. While some of the students at SPSU do fit this description, I found an overwhelming number that do not. I myself did not get into GT but did get into GA State, Kennesaw, and UGA. Many of my classmates however chose not to attend GT. Few ended up transferring to GT later with a couple actually transferring back to SPSU. To compare SPSU and GT seems rational based on the degrees both schools offer but to do so is highly misguided. SPSU was founded to offer applied Engineering programs at a time where GT was the only game in town for Engineering. GT to this day is still a research institute. The focus for faculty is on their research in many cases at the expense of the students education. SPSU however is devoted to applied, hands on learning. Teaching students how to apply science and technology to solve today's problems, not how to use theory to find new technologies. In reality only 2% of engineering jobs are research based. The other 98% being practical application to solve problems. In my time at SPSU, all of my professors fit into three categories. They we professionals working in the industry, past GT graduates, or both. From day one after graduation, I 60k a year job for a fortune 500 company. I owe my career, my personal growth, and my knowledge to the faculty, administration, and student body at SPSU.
1989 SPSU ALUMNI
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November 06, 2013
MOLIERE......You do not know what you are talking about. Firstly, if you are into theory, research, writing papers and dreaming about ENGINEERING.....you go to Georgia Tech. I personally know a few former SPSU students & graduates that either transferred for their BS or got their Master's from Georgia Tech.

Secondly, you evidently have no clue about why "SOUTHERN TECH" , now SPSU was founded.

Here is a history lesson for you:

Founded in 1948 as a two-year division of Georgia Institute of Technology, SPSU was established at the request of Georgia business and industry. It first opened its doors as the Technical Institute in Chamblee, Georgia, with 116 students, all but 10 being World War II veterans, and a staff of 12.

In 1949, SPSU became the Southern Technical Institute and was recognized as a college-level school by the U.S. Department of Education. Twelve years later, the college migrated to its present campus in Marietta, Georgia.

In 1961, Hoyt McClure was named acting director and led the movement to build eight new buildings on 120 acres of land. Since then we have continued to expand -- our campus now encompasses more than 203 acres and contains 65 buildings.

SPSU became accredited as a four-year college in 1970, and was one of the last technical institutes in the nation to offer the bachelor of Engineering Technology degree. We also earned independence in the University System during the academic year 1979-1980, separating ties with Georgia Tech. In the summer of 1980, SPSU officially became the 14th senior college and the 33rd independent unit of the University System.

The college's first president, Dr. Stephen R. Cheshier of Purdue University, was named in 1980 and served with distinction until his retirement as president in June 1997. He saw SPSU through two name changes -- Southern College of Technology in 1987 and Southern Polytechnic State University in the summer of 1996, when the school also became a university. Dr. Daniel S. Papp served as interim president from July of 1997 to August of 1998, when the university welcomed Dr. Lisa Rossbacher, formerly of Dickinson College, as its president.

Now.....to clue you in farther, if you never visited the campus or any of the departments, you will note that SPSU has a fine reputation for turning out graduates that are an asset to industry through the application of technologies to build, manufacture, design and produce....then things this country was founded upon. To be able truly engineer something from the ground up and to be able to produce it. SPSU applies the theory to true world engineering applications. We are a school where the rubber meets the road!

So if you want to be a "REAL ENGINEER" and not fantasize about it....you are SPSU material!
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