Task force recommends GT Savannah cuts

The future of Tech’s Savannah campus will be determined in the coming months as the Institute reviews the mission of its satellite campus in relation to other long-term initiatives and goals. A task force created by the Provost’s Office in Dec. 2010 issued a series of preliminary recommendations this past week regarding the future of the Savannah campus.


Among the options being considered are phasing out undergraduate education degree programs and replacing them with co-op and internship opportunities that are in line with the needs of local industry and government. Another suggested proposal is to add professional master’s degree programs, professional and executive certificate programs and research activities. The task force is also exploring the potential of expanding applied research activities to drive economic development in the region.


According to a statement released by the Institute, the realignment is meant to ensure that the Savannah program is financially viable.


“Tech Provost Rafael Bras recently shared communications with students, faculty and staff of the Savannah campus reassuring them of the Institute’s commitment to the Savannah and coastal Georgia area, but informing them that the mission of the campus is under review,” said Institute spokesperson Matt Nagel.


According to Nagel, these recommendations will be finalized in the coming weeks. Once approved by Institute President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, they must also be approved by the Board of Regents before being implemented.


In recent weeks, students on the Savannah campus were invited to a series of town-hall style meetings to discuss the future of the campus. The Provost’s office will continue to hold a series of meetings in the coming weeks before the end of the semester.


According to the press release, the Savannah campus will continue normal operations in the fall, and no changes will take effect until the spring. Officials emphasize that recommendations may take years to implement once approved.
“[The task force is] really trying to make this a student-focused transition. They want to make sure that students’ needs are met and they can graduate,” Nagel said.


Since its original establishment in  1998, the campus has offered degrees in four different undergraduate fields: civil, mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. There are currently 303 undergraduate and graduate students in the program.


The majority of students currently on the Savannah campus take part in the Georgia Tech Regional Engineering Program (GTREP), through which students from Armstrong Atlantic State University, Georgia Southern and Savannah State may transfer to the Tech for their final years of engineering education.


The task force will issue its final recommendations to President Peterson on June 1.




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