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Board of Regents Labels KSU ‘Comprehensive University’

Two days before the beginning of Fall semester, the Board of Regents upgraded KSU’s status from “state university” to ”comprehensive university.”

On Aug. 14, The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents established four distinct classifications for the state’s 31 public colleges and universities based on each institution’s academic programs, admissions, geographic area and emphasis “Let me start by explaining how the University System of Georgia has been historically set up,” said KSU President Daniel Papp. “Historically, from the early 1990s up until last Wednesday, the general structure of the University System of Georgia was that there four research universities “Those four were Georgia Tech, The University of Georgia, Georgia State and the Medical College of Georgia, or what is now Georgia Regents University.”

Papp said there were also two regional universities: Valdosta State and Georgia Southern.

Then there were a number of state universities, including KSU– and another set of schools that were designated as either state colleges or two- year colleges.

“What this reclassification did was it eliminated the categorization of regional university and created a categorization of comprehensive university,” Papp continued.

KSU is now listed as a comprehensive university along with Georgia Southern, Valdosta State and West Georgia.

“What the board regents said in its categorization of these four institutions as comprehensive universities, is [they] have responsibilities for a complete range of teaching, research and service responsibilities across the whole range of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees,” Papp said.

“In addition to that”, he said, “these four universities will be committed to being world-class academic institutions.”

Papp said that for KSU, this means additional prestige, additional responsibilities and should mean “access to additional areas of funding” for grants and research.

“It will not change any costs for students whatsoever,” Papp said. “It hopefully will increase our ability to open doors for external funding.”

The elevated status could also mean new programs for KSU in the near future.

“We have had a number of new bachelor’s and master’s and doctoral programs that are in the queue to go down to the Board of Regents,” Papp said. “We have one or two down there already.”

He said the new classification would hopefully make it easier and quicker to get new master’s and doctoral-level programs approved.

Papp went on to say that academically, KSU is in excellent shape.

“Over the course of the summer we passed our five- year review without a single recommendation” [from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools].

“We’ve got a lot of things we could improve but there’s nothing that endangers us as an institution as far as SACS is concerned,” Papp said. “That is tremendous news.”