Emory seeks annexation into Atlanta


On Aug. 19, Emory University released a statement announcing the beginning of its process to become annexed into being part of  the city of Atlanta.

The annexation would reclassify all of Emory’s campus as being inside Atlanta, although surrounding neighborhoods and communities would have to independently petition for reclassification if they so desire.

Emory is often advertised and recognized as being in Atlanta, in part due to its presence in the city proper, its close relationship with Tech and its actual location in the unincorporated DeKalb County.

Emory currently holds a hospital in Midtown, the Emory University Midtown Hospital, southeast of Tech’s campus.

Emory also has an academic partnership with Tech where each university provides courses to students of the other institution where those courses are not available. A bus route between the two campuses is maintained by Georgia Tech Parking and Transportation Services, running during regular school hours on Mondays through Fridays via a repurposed Stinger vehicle.

More recently, Emory partnered with Tech to create a joint materials storage facility intended to hold both delicate materials and general purpose library collections in high-density storage, with members of both institutions having access to the catalog through short-term delivery services. Both schools agreed to share the majority of their collections, although certain historic materials are still kept with their respective institutions in their respective
library buildings.

Annexation of Emory University could have a significant impact on its relationship with Atlanta through the services that the city offers within its jurisdiction, especially in regards to transportation. Emory is located within I-285, northeast of the downtown center, nearby to existing MARTA rail lines.

The current proposition for a Clifton Corridor MARTA rail line would connect Emory to the MARTA system, as is the case with both Tech and Georgia State. Proposals for a new sales tax have been made in order to fund the new rail line.

DeKalb County is the current location of Emory’s main campus; no city has jurisdiction over the land. The only services provided to Emory are those afforded by DeKalb. The annexation of Emory could lead to Atlanta funding municipal services in the area after a transition period.

Local communities have raised concerns about Emory’s petition to be annexed due to their proximity to the university. DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader called for a meeting to discuss the potential for nearby communities to also petition for annexation, moving them into the Atlanta school system. Furthermore, Emory does pay certain taxes to DeKalb that would be transferred to Atlanta in a case of annexation.

Currently, the relationship between Emory and Tech is based primarily on providing education and services that the two universities do not compete in, such as Tech’s engineering and Emory’s law programs. Emory offers a dual degree program for Tech students through which they may earn a Juris Master, while both schools participate in the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education’s program for cross registration.

Neither Emory nor Tech has made any statements on whether the annexation will lead to increased partnership or competition between the two schools.