Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mississippi Mergers Update

The bill to merge three historically Black institutions in Mississippi recently died in committee. In the meantime, Mississippi State University and the Mississippi University for Women are exploring opportunities for enhanced collaboration. An opportunity to cut costs, MUW President Dr. Claudia Limbert prefers to call the arrangements "shared services." Departments that may be consolidated include accounting, human resources and payroll. Dual degree programs have also been announced in culinary arts and nursing. While stressed as "not a merger," this type of collaboration is quickly being hailed as the type of cooperation that may serve as a model for other institutions in the state.

In the end, while merger proponents may not have the mergers they wanted, this collaboration between MSU and MUW is likely more than what would have taken place otherwise. It is important to note that the collaboration discussions between MSU and MUW were initiated from within the institutions. Under this impetus, decisions such as these are likely to take root. Being pressured by external forces only emboldens resistance. It is the concept of having something done "to" you as opposed to "by" you. Kudos to the leaders of these two institutions for recognizing an opportunity to make a positive change from this situation. It will be interesting to see if any other institutions in the state follow suit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Update on UMass Dartmouth Law School Merger

The Massachussets state Board of Higher Education approved UMass Dartmouth taking over the donated assets of the Southern New England School of Law and creating the state's first public law school. The university plans to upgrade the law school program and seek American Bar Association accreditation.

Detractors of the merger still point to poor standards at the former Southern New England School of Law as well as budget constraints on the part of the state.

A committee of academics, judges, attorneys and higher education experts will oversee facilitation of the merger.

Recent articles on the subject are listed below.

More on the Mississippi Proposed Mergers

Continued discussions on the proposed university mergers in Mississippi reaffirm that the merger plan is "dead," and Jackson State University President Ronald Mason continues to take heat for his merger proposal.

In the meantime, the merger discussion has generated much more debate about problems and potential solutions at the Mississippi University for Women, "The W." Major issues at play include a potential name change, substantial tuition increases and cuts in jobs, degrees, course offerings and departments.

Recent articles on the subject are listed below.

Update on USU-CEU Merger

Enthusiasm is high in Southeastern Utah as the merger between Utah State University and the College of Eastern Utah progresses. Much of the previous opposition to the merger has now subsided.