Why Athens? A closer look into both of Piedmont College’s campuses


Living/Athens Editor

By having two campuses, Piedmont must coordinate between the two on a budget, class schedules, professors and events. 

The two campuses do share many aspects of the college’s functionality, but because of the different campus sizes and demographics, they are separate in many ways.

The faculty on each campus  is the same in some departments and different in others. President James Mellichamp oversees both the Demorest and Athens campus. 

According to Mellichamp, the administrative staff for Athens and other off-campus teaching locations is centralized in Demorest. 

However, the academic deans and vice presidents regularly visit the Athens campus, where they have office space as well. 

Some full-time faculty are centered in Athens but occasionally teach in Demorest. The same goes for faculty centered in Demorest. They occasionally teach in Athens. 

On the professors commuting back and forth, Mellichamp wrote via email on Sept. 17, “This helps students at both campuses to interact with all of our faculty.” 

Some faculty that the campuses don’t share includes support staff such as financial aid, the library, admissions and academic support. 

The scheduling and classes offered between the two campuses are planned for and based around the other. 

The academic deans of each major plan the schedule based around what is needed at both locations. 

This allows those students who have to commute back and forth between Athens and Demorest to do so without conflict. 

Despite the scheduling coordination, Athens is based more around commuting students who are primarily non-traditional. 

The Athens campus does not offer residential housing like Demorest does, nor does it have the athletic facilities that Demorest has, due to the different demographics of students. Thus, the degree programs offered at Athens are primarily nursing, education and business. 

The budgets of the two campuses combine to make up one for the entire college. Athens and Demorest both have their own budget lines, but together, along with off-campus program budgets, they make up the budget of Piedmont College as a whole. 

The budget lines are different based upon the fact that the campuses are very different in size and need. 

Both campuses, however, do provide student services, such as a gym, student center, cafeteria and learning center. 

When asked if the Athens campus would receive a facility similar to the student commons that was recently built on the Demorest campus, Mellichamp wrote via email on Sept. 17, “Athens is slated to undergo a facilities usage study this academic year to determine, in part, what improvements in Athens would be helpful.  A Student Commons in Athens, similar to what we just built in Demorest, would never be utilized the same way given that there is no residential program in Athens.  There are other opportunities, however, which will be explored.”

Though the Athens and Demorest campuses offer students different facilities and different faces, they still both work together to make up one, united college. 

When visiting the website, one won’t find the mission statement of Piedmont College in Demorest and a separate one for Piedmont College in Athens. 

Instead, one will find the mission statement of Piedmont College, which is made up of two locations that, according to Mellichamp, are both successful.