The merger of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography with the University of Georgia, effective July 1, was initiated by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia as part of efforts to streamline operations.
Those involved expect the new alignment between the institute and the university will enhance the research efforts of both the Skidaway Institute and UGA’s marine and coastal programs.
“This historic merger creates new opportunities in research, instruction and outreach while facilitating collaboration among University System of Georgia institutions,” says new UGA President Jere W. Morehead.
The Skidaway Institute is a research institution on a 700-acre campus on Skidaway Island. It was created in 1967 by the Georgia General Assembly and operated as a stand-alone institution for four years before coming under the responsibility of the university system. With the merger, the institute's executive director, Jim Sanders, now reports to the UGA’s Office of the Provost.
“Combining the intellectual and physical resources of the Skidaway Institute with those of the University of Georgia will strengthen an area of research whose impact extends far beyond the coast,” said Libby Morris, interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.
According to Skidaway Institute executive director Jim Sanders, in addition to strengthening pre-existing collaborations with UGA researchers, the merger creates new opportunities for cross-disciplinary research with faculty in units such as the College of Engineering.
“Also, we expect Skidaway Institute to continue to maintain the historically strong relationships with other university system institutions, such as Georgia Tech and Savannah State,” Sanders said.
UGA already has a strong presence on the Skidaway Institute campus. The UGA Marine Extension Service Aquarium provides educational programs for approximately 18,000 students annually. The Marine Extension Service Shellfish Laboratory is also located on the Skidaway campus.
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