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ATLANTA - The University System of Georgia Board of Regents officially approved the consolidation of Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University in a vote Tuesday afternoon.

The merger will be put in place over the next year, with the final board approval of the newly merged school coming in January 2015, after an expected approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools at its December 2014 meeting.

"This is a decision that will strengthen both institutions' ability to serve students and to ensure we can direct resources appropriately into the academic mission," said Board Chairman Dink NeSmith in a statement released Tuesday. "With this consolidation, all of our guiding principles have been addressed as we plan for how to best meet future needs in Georgia for public higher education. I'm excited about the future potential for the new Kennesaw State University."

The consolidated school will be called Kennesaw State University, but will retain KSU's campus along with SPSU's Marietta campus.

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