Georgia State University and Perimeter College will merge, the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents announced on Jan. 6.

The new name? Georgia State University.

“Georgia State is a recognized national leader in improving student retention and graduation rates and will be able to apply its best practices,” Chancellor Hank Huckaby, who recommended the consolidation, said in a press release issued by the system.

“Combining these attributes with Georgia Perimeter College’s leadership in providing access to students across the metro area presents a major opportunity to improve student success.”

The merger will mean a total enrollment of 53,297 students for the expanded Georgia State, with a target start date of fall 2016.

The announcement did not say whether any campuses will be closed. A “consolidation implementation team” will assess the new institution’s needs and infrastructure, and will make a recommendation to the Regents regarding campus structure and locations.

According to a report released by the Regents, the consolidation will save money by reducing administrative costs, but it did not say how much. It also stated that layoffs will likely occur. A website to keep campuses informed of the process is planned.

Georgia State President Mark Becker will serve as president of the institution following the consolidation. The plan is for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to give approval for the consolidation by the end of the year, and for the Regents to approve the new institution in early 2016.

The announcement of the Georgia State/Perimeter College merger follows the 2013 announcement of the consolidation of Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University, which the Regents approved Jan. 6.

Georgia State is the second largest university in the University System of Georgia and operates as a research facility in downtown Atlanta. It celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013.

Georgia Perimeter College has five locations throughout metro Atlanta, including one in Dunwoody. It was founded in 1964 for DeKalb citizens by the DeKalb Board of Education. The school is the top associate degree-granting institution in the state.

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