Future of Health Science and Engineering discussed at town hall, departmental structures still unknown

Future of Health Science and Engineering discussed at town hall, departmental structures still unknown

Lucy Stone, News Editor

GSU President Jaimie Hebert speaks at Consolidation Town Hall Q&A on April 12. (Livestream video still via Armstrong)

Georgia Southern University (GSU) President, Dr. Jaimie Hebert, visited Armstrong’s campus for a Town Hall meeting on the consolidation between GSU and ASU last Wednesday from 2p.m.-3p.m.

Held in the Fine Arts auditorium, the meeting began with opening remarks from Dr. Bleicken before Hebert shared background on his family and growing up in Louisiana. A Q&A session followed with questions asked either in person or through text.

Mostly faculty, staff and alumni attended.

“Our consolidation will certainly bring changes, changes to Armstrong and changes to Georgia Southern. And change is always difficult, even when it’s the right thing to do,” Hebert said.

Hebert plans on Armstrong’s campus serving as the epicenter of Health Sciences while the Statesboro campus will be the epicenter of Engineering. However, that does not mean Statesboro’s campus will not have its own nursing program, as well.

“There is a perception of difference between the Georgia Southern campus and the Armstrong campus. I invite you to visit. Come talk to folks,” Hebert said, after being asked about diversity on campuses.

Hebert will have an office on Armstrong’s campus, as well as a presence on the Hinesville campus.

Beth Howells, department head of Languages, Literature and Philosophy, commented that there is, “a tremendous amount of anxiety that’s really escalating in relation to local structures, departmental structures… and daily faculty are feeling it in terms of what things are going to look like here, not just in the upper levels but in the levels we work in every day.”

“Because we are early in this process… I think there still are a lot of unanswered questions. I think once we get the colleges established, know where they’re located and start placing departments within those colleges, we’ll start answering questions. And I think once we reduce the anxiety associated with the unknown, then we can start dealing with all the other issues related to other changes that may or may not occur on some of our campuses,” Hebert answered.

Howells followed up asking if there was a timeline on finding out where departments will be located.

“A hard timeline? No,” Hebert said. “As soon as we have those, they will be announced… I’m hoping within the next few weeks.”

To view this Town Hall meeting, read the new mission statement and stay updated with the consolidation process, check consolidation.georgiasouthern.edu.