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JDCC merger now ‘a go’

The Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees voted Thursday to begin the process of merging a total of seven colleges, four in south Alabama and three in the east-central part of the state.

On that list is Jefferson Davis Community College, which is slated to be consolidated under the Bay Minette-based Faulkner State Community College. Included in that group is Alabama Southern Community College in Monroeville and Reid State Technical College in Evergreen.

Three others will be consolidated under Central Alabama Community College, based in Alexander City. The other two are Southern Union State Community College in Wadley and Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City.

There was no discussion reported at the day’s meeting as the board approved the resolution to initiate the process and notify the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Public meetings will be held in each of the affected communities, according to the resolutions. Regulations require a planning process of at least six months, the resolutions said.

The Legislature created the Community College Board of Trustees earlier this year. Previously, the college system had been under the State Board of Education.

Proponents of the mergers cited efficiency for the college system because of the amount of money spent on education.

JDCC interim president Dr. William “Bill” Blow said previously he agreed with the thought. He said the mergers will benefit the communities by creating stronger institutions.

No date has been announced for the public input meetings.