Consolidation Implementation Committee Appointed

Emily Smith, Editor in Chief

The University System of Georgia Chancellor, Dr. Steve Wrigley, has appointed the Armstrong State University – Georgia Southern University Consolidation Implementation Committee. The USG press release stated that the 41-member committee consists of 20 representatives from each university as well as one from Savannah State University.

“We have strong representation, including 20 Armstrong faculty, staff, students and administrators,” Armstrong President Linda Bleicken said to the Armstrong community in an email Jan. 26.

The release details that the Student Government Association president from each institution will represent their respective student bodies. Armstrong SGA President Dustin Stewart and Georgia Southern SGA President Dylan John will serve as the committee’s student voices.

“In past consolidations, it has been practice that the SGA President serve as the sole student on the CIC. My task is to attempt to bring forth concerns most pressing for students and assist in making the bigger decisions regarding consolidation as a whole,” Stewart said. “However, there are going to be work groups aplenty and students are asked to volunteer to serve on those. The SGA, along with Student Affairs and the President’s Office, is working to put together a strategy that will permit students to submit or talk about concerns, as well as register to serve on a work group committee.”

Although initially interested in being on the committee herself, senior liberal studies major Michelle Ramos told The Inkwell that she believes the committee selections are fair. “All the names I recognize are people who are vested in student success. So, while I’m disappointed there is only one student, it is a good committee,” Ramos said. “ It looks like every office and department is covered. I’m actually pretty confident in the choices made and I think they will get every win possible for Armstrong at this point.”

One of the committee’s initial actions is to develop a mission statement for the new university.  It will also help determine the best ways to combine the strengths of the two institutions, work out many details and provide regular updates to campus communities.

The committee’s first meeting with USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley will be Feb. 1, 2017.

Information about the proposed consolidation will be available and updated at and

SGA President Dustin Stewart can be contacted at

Georgia Southern SGA President Dylan John can be contacted at

The members of the Consolidation Implementation Committee are:


Armstrong State University

  • Linda M. Bleicken, president
  • Allison Belzer, associate professor, college of liberal arts
  • Janet Buckenmeyer, dean and professor, college of education
  • Christopher Corrigan, vice president, business and finance
  • Lee Davis, university counsel
  • Deidra Dennie, director, equity, diversity and inclusion, and chair, staff council
  • Catherine Gilbert, associate professor, college of health professions
  • Joy Hamm, associate vice president, enrollment services
  • Amy Heaston, chief of staff
  • Peter Hoffman, director, government relations and community engagement
  • Wayne Johnson, professor, college of science and technology
  • William Kelso, vice president, advancement
  • Dorothy Kempson, director, Armstrong Liberty Center
  • Georj Lewis, vice president, student affairs
  • Laura Mills, director, institutional research
  • Tim Moody, chief information officer
  • Clifford Padgett, associate professor and president, faculty senate
  • Robert Smith, provost and vice president, academic affairs
  • Lisa Sweany, director, athletics
  • Dustin Stewart, senior and president, student government association


Georgia Southern University

  • Jaimie Hebert, president
  • Trip Addison, vice president, university advancement and external affairs
  • Amy Ballagh, associate vice president, student affairs and enrollment management
  • Jean Bartels, provost and vice president, academic affairs
  • Jana Briley, chief audit officer
  • Jayne Perkins Brown, senior associate vice president, student affairs and enrollment management and director, strategic research and analysis
  • Kim Brown, senior associate vice president, financial and business services
  • Rebecca Carroll, associate vice president, human resources
  • Diana Cone, vice provost, academic affairs
  • Maura Copeland, associate vice president, legal affairs
  • Teresa Flateby, associate vice president, institutional effectiveness
  • Richard Flynn, faculty senate moderator and professor, department of literature and philosophy
  • Dylan John, student government association president
  • Tom Kleinlein, director, athletics
  • Thomas Koballa, dean, college of education
  • Brian Koehler, associate dean, curriculum and advisement, college of science and mathematics
  • Curtis Ricker, dean, college of liberal arts and social sciences
  • Ron Stalnaker, chief information officer
  • Teresa Thompson, vice president, student affairs and enrollment management
  • Rob Whitaker, vice president, business and finance


Savannah State University

• David Smith, chief of staff