MGA President Blake: State of the University is Strong

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, January 28, 2019 12:00 AM
Categories: School of Education | Students | School of Information Technology | School of Business | School of Aviation | Pressroom | School of Education and Behavioral Sciences | Faculty/Staff | School of Health Sciences

Dublin, GA


With growing enrollment, an increasing number of graduates, and degree program expansion, Middle Georgia State University is stronger than ever just six years after the consolidation of two regional colleges created the five-campus institution.

At his 2019 “State of the University” address, given at Middle Georgia State’s Dublin Campus on Thursday, Jan. 24, President Dr. Christopher Blake gave the institution an “A” grade on a variety of measureable goals and strategies.

“Let me start by saying loudly, clearly and unequivocally that the state of Middle Georgia State University is the healthiest and strongest it has been since our consolidation,” Blake told a gathering of faculty, staff and community leaders in an address that was also livestreamed. “… One year ago I used in my ‘State of the University’ address an analogy of us growing up. I compared us to a child who had reached the age of five years and was about to embark on a life-enhancing transition to grade school. One year later I am proud to share our first-grade report and can celebrate with you that we have indeed learned well and we are succeeding in this new and challenging place called school.”

What is now Middle Georgia State University (MGA) was created by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in January 2013 with the consolidation of Middle Georgia College and Macon State College. The new institution covers a wide geographic range, with campuses in Macon, Cochran, Dublin, Eastman, and Warner Robins. The University is made up of the College of Arts and Sciences and schools of Aviation, Business, Education & Behavioral Sciences, Health Sciences, and Information Technology. MGA is the only public university in Georgia with a School of Aviation, based on the Eastman Campus, and offers one of the few residential programs in the state for dually enrolled high school students.

Among the highlights of Middle Georgia State’s recent progress, Blake noted that:

• The University has graduated 1,300 students this academic year, the second highest since consolidation. The majority of MGA graduates reside within 75 miles of the Warner Robins Campus, an important measure of economic impact on the region. MGA has a regional economic impact of $250 million, according to recent assessments.

• Enrollment, both in headcount and credit-hour production, grew by 6 percentage points in fall 2108, the second highest percentage growth in the University System. Fall 2018 enrollment hit about 7,800 students, the largest enrollment since 2014.

• Enrollment for the current semester, spring 2019, beat MGA’s target goal and represents the third consecutive semester of enrollment growth. “Three is not a blip, it is a trend,” Blake said.

• The number of students living on MGA’s campuses increased by more than 15 percent in fall 2018. A new residential hall, housing 300 students, is on track to open on the Macon Campus in 2020. Meanwhile, MGA is serving a growing number of students online, offering degree programs that can be earned partially or fully online.

• Nearly 700 students, a record number, are pursuing research opportunities with faculty mentors.

• MGA launched a comprehensive strategic plan called “Elevating Middle Georgia” in summer 2018 that calls for “purposeful” enrollment, clear student success, and sharing of a built culture. The plan drives the University’s overall vision.

• A new level of collaboration between MGA’s academic and enrollment operations has been a game changer, the president said. Working more closely together helps the University not only enroll more students, but helps ensure that more of them make ongoing progress toward their degrees and graduate within a reasonable amount of time.

• More private dollars to support the work of MGA are growing through fundraising campaigns conducted through Middle Georgia State University Foundation. The 2018 “Annual Fund” campaign exceeded its goal of $875,000, and a more comprehensive and longer-term “Greatness Campaign” is underway.

• MGA’s strong reputation and brand reputation is catching the attention of those in the region as well as the state. MGA is aiming to increase the presence of its aviation programs and is well on the way as the School of Aviation is one of only eight schools nationwide recently selected to participate in the Delta Propel program to train more pilots for the airline.

The real measure of MGA’s work, Blake said, is the students.

“Every day, especially on the stressful days, I urge you to look around at the students on our campuses,” he told the audience. “They are amazing people and they inspire us. They put their trust in us. They balance their degree demands with many other necessities and commitments. They are not wealthy elites. They are building greatness in their lives and in our University.”

As Middle Georgia State continues to move forward, Blake urged the University community to think of recent successes as steps to even greater progress over the next few years. “We have the map and the means for realizing that dream,” he said. Let’s turn the dream “into a powerful reality for the benefit of the people of Middle Georgia.”

Read the full text of Blake’s “State of the University” address at

Middle Georgia State University (MGA) serves about 7,800 students on campuses in Macon, Cochran, Dublin, Eastman, and Warner Robins. Students can choose from dozens of programs - including business, nursing, information technology, new media and communications, and contemporary musicianship - that lead to bachelor’s degrees. MGA also offers professional master’s degrees in cybersecurity, nursing, management, and secondary education, with other graduate programs under development. The University is home to Georgia’s only public School of Aviation - based on the Eastman campus - and a four-year degree in flight.