At the Cobb County Advisory Committee Meeting held on Wednesday, August 26, Kennesaw University President Daniel Papp spoke on the changes occurring as a result of KSU’s recent merger with Southern Polytechnic University. The first effect of the merger was the need to eliminate redundancy in administrative services and building uses. Consolidation of administrative services is expected free up $5 to $6 million dollars for other university needs. The second effect was the need to make a few one-time costs for items such as new highway signs.
The most significant data however, relates to the sheer scale of services the university will now offer.
Marketed under the “New U” slogan, KSU-Marietta and KSU-Kennesaw is now home to 13 colleges, some of which have been allowed to retain Southern Polytechnic label on their names. For example, the Southern Polytechnic School of Engineering and Engineering Technology.
Attracted by lower tuition costs than offered other major universities like Georgia Tech or Georgia State, KSU enrollment is now above 40,000 undergraduate, graduate, and non-traditional students combined. This figure is only expected to rise as projects in the pipeline are completed.
Classrooms on the Marietta campus are being retrofitted with the latest telecommunications and other technology. Roofs are being fixed and three new labs are constructed for research purposes, with some offering access to the University’s new set of 3-d printers. Other major construction projects include a $22 million expansion of the College of Education, and an $18 million bridge over Interstate 75 between Frey Road and Busbee Drive to hopefully ease some traffic around the KSU campus.
Most attractive to prospective applicants, however, is likely to be the Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activity Center which opened on June 29th, 2015. The $38.7 million, energy-efficient recreation center offers access to two swimming pools, five basketball courts, eight tennis courts, a rock-climbing wall, indoor track and many other fitness amenities.
With the high levels of investment taking place across both campuses, President Papp expanded upon the university’s desire to receive R-1 designation from the University System of Georgia. Not only would the new designation qualify KSU for higher levels of state funding, it would also improve the standing faculty members have when pursuing research grants from national sources, such as the National Science Foundation.
The Council for Quality Growth thanks President Papp for participation in Wednesday’s Cobb Advisory Committee meeting.