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2. Core requirements

Core Requirement:

2.1 The institution has degree-granting authority from the appropriate government agency or agencies. (Degree-granting Authority)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

Authority to establish and oversee public universities in Georgia is granted to the Board of Regents in Section IV, Paragraph I(b) as follows:

“The board of regents shall have the exclusive authority to create new public colleges, junior colleges, and universities in the State of Georgia, subject to approval by majority vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Such vote shall not be required to change the status of a college, institution or university existing on the effective date of this Constitution. The government, control, and management of the University System of Georgia and all of the institutions in said system shall be vested in the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia” [1].

This authority is further delineated in the Bylaws of the Board of Regents: I(2) [2], which note:

“The charter of the Board of Regents consists of the original charter of the Trustees of the University of Georgia embodied in the Act of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia approved January 27, 1785, and modified by a subsequent Act of the General Assembly of Georgia in 1931, as follows:

Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that there is hereby set up and constituted a department of the State Government of Georgia, to be known as the “Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.” The name of the corporation heretofore established and existing under the name and style, “Trustees of the University of Georgia” be and the same is hereby changed to “Regents of the University System of Georgia.”

The government, control, and management of the University System of Georgia and each of its institutions are vested by the people of Georgia exclusively with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The Board of Regents possesses such other authority as is granted by the Constitution of the State of Georgia and by acts of the General Assembly.”

According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated [3], this responsibility includes:

“The government, control, and management of the university system and all of its institutions shall be vested in the Board of Regents” (O.C.G.A. § 20-3-51); and

“The Board of Regents is authorized to consolidate, suspend, or discontinue institutions; merge departments; inaugurate or discontinue courses; and abolish or add degrees” (O.C.G.A. § 20-3-32(a)).

Originally established as the Fourth District Agricultural and Mechanical School in 1906, the institution became West Georgia College, a two-year post-secondary institution in 1933.  In 1957, the institution was granted authority to offer four-year degrees, and it achieved status as a State University in … with a core mission that includes providing undergraduate and post-baccalaureate degrees [4]. The University System of Georgia adopted a new classification for institutions in August 2013. The University of West Georgia is now a Comprehensive University. Alignment with this new classification will begin in the Fall of 2013 [5]. This is discussed in UWG's report for Core Requirement 2.5.

The institution is also authorized to offer degrees in multiple states in accordance with respective state regulations for distributed or on-line education. The process of securing approval to offer programs in each of the 50 states is ongoing, and the Institution’s progress in securing approval is reflected in several documents:

- The UWG State Authorizations [6] graphically depicts the status of approval for the Institution to offer programs in each state at various points in time.

- The Physical Presence Document  [7]) describes each state’s requirements for program approval and key questions or triggers for that state.

- The UWG State Approval Progress Spreadsheet [8] provides additional details about the status of approval in each state and links to approval documents when these are available.

Supporting Documentation: