MGA President Highlights Enrollment Growth, Innovation, & the Decade Ahead in State of the University Address

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:00 AM
Categories: Pressroom | Students | Faculty/Staff

Cochran, GA


Middle Georgia State University (MGA), as a top performer in enrollment growth and other areas, is well positioned to enter a new decade that will be full of unique challenges, President Dr. Christopher Blake said this week in his 2020 State of the University address.

“Part of my confidence in that claim comes from the fact that we have a track record to prove it, “said Blake, who gave the address - "A Decade of Promise" - on Thursday, January 23, at MGA's Cochran Campus.”We have remained in the top flight of enrollment successes in the University System for the past four semesters, as one of the top three performers. ... Our profiles in the fields of health, aviation, music, and others have emerged to new levels of strength, and position us for continued growth of our University’s reputation in our state, nation and even our world. " 

In reviewing many of the University's achievements and milestones, Blake noted the institution's "roller coaster" ride of the past decade, launched by the University System of Georgia's 2012 announcement that two colleges in the central Georgia region would be consolidated to create what is now MGA.

"Many of you were here and can remember that, at that time, we were two colleges with different missions, different directions, different employees, and different students," Blake said. "In (about) 10 short years we have truly transformed ourselves, our institutions, and our united mission for the people of middle Georgia. It has been a roller-coaster ride - with both stunning highs and dizzying lows - and yet we can congratulate ourselves on the journey we have made in the past decade.  It has been an amazing one of renewal, growth and change. Going forward, I believe the pace of change at Middle Georgia State University will be different, but the scale of the changes and the opportunity to serve will increase even more.”

Among the University's recent achievements and progress, Blake noted that:


  • MGA remains one of the University System's enrollment growth leaders. For the past four semesters, MGA has ranked either second or third in percentage growth. The current semester, spring 2020, is showing nearly 5 percent growth over the same time last year.
  • Fewer than five years after introducing master's degrees, MGA now enrolls more than 300 graduate students. The Regents recently approved a new doctoral degree – MGA’s first - in information technology.
  • MGA continues to create first-rate learning and student service environments through new and renovated facilities. The University just broke ground on the new, privately funded Peyton Anderson Enrollment Center on the Macon Campus, which is also getting a more pedestrian friendly and visible main entrance thanks to the University's partnership with Macon-Bibb County and the state Department of Transportation. Meanwhile, construction continues on Lakeview Pointe, a new Macon Campus residential hall. On the Cochran Campus, long-needed renovations are underway at Roberts Memorial Library and science and nursing facilities in Dillard Hall.
  • MGA's School of Aviation was the beneficiary of a "transformational gift" of aircraft from the Jones Family Foundation, allowing the School of Aviation to double the number of flight students at its satellite campus at the Macon Downtown Airport. On the Warner Robins Campus, MGA opened the Center for Software Innovation in partnership with Robins Air Force Base. In anticipation of the need for more nurses, the Dublin Campus has a new computer lab and expanded classroom space for nursing students.
  • The University continues to build up its fully online campus, MGA Direct, as part of its commitment to serving career professionals with undergraduate and graduate programs while, at the same time, supporting a traditional residential education for students right out of high school.
  • To strengthen MGA's direct involvement in helping students plan and prepare for life after graduation, the University is launching an enhanced career services effort through the Center for Career Development & Leadership.

The president said the challenges the new decade is unfolding means MGA must keep exercising its strengths in efficiency, agility, and adaptability.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has called for cuts and downsizing of state budgets, "so the reality of adapting to changing economic reality is something we must embrace," Blake said. This "will not mean the end of innovation or growth or strength, but will in fact permit us to think creatively about how to be our very best and impactful as an academic community. ... I am working with my leadership team to secure a strong budget in FY21 from the University System of Georgia, and state appropriations to support student success for next year. This will build on the many millions of dollars in state appropriations obtained in recent years to support education to the students in our region.  I can remind you that our most important assets are the people of this University community and the intellectual capital and innovation they bring to the challenges ahead.”

Blake encouraged the MGA community to think of the coming decade as an opportunity to look forward with hope.  

"The foundations we lay today will uphold this academic community for decades to come," he said. "Our decisions will truly impact that future."  

This was Blake's seventh "State of the University" address since becoming MGA's president in 2013. Go to to watch him give the address or to read the full text.