Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Jersey Governor Proposes Merger of Thomas Edison State College and Rutgers University

The governor of New Jersey has apparently unilaterally proposed a merger of Thomas Edison State College into Rutgers University. The proposal was outlined as part of the governor's Fiscal 2011 "Budget in Brief." Thomas Edison serves 18,000 students, nearly all adult, pursuing continuing education with flexibly-designed courses. The President of Thomas Edison, George Pruitt, is vehemently opposed to the merger. Even Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick called the merger an "unsolicited proposal" that was "not his idea" and "not something he coveted or wanted."

Like the recent proposed Mississippi mergers, we have a governor on his own suggesting radical changes in the fabric of his state's higher education institutions. Again, this is the notion of having something being done "to" you, not "by" you. Universities are communities of people, all working towards and sharing in the common mission of the organization. Broad buy-in for a change such as a merger must take place. Otherwise, merger proponents face a steep uphill climb, with potential negative effects that can last for extended periods of time. Mergers are successful when they are initiated and supported from within the institutions, not the opposite.

University of New Hampshire, Franklin Pierce Law Center Move Towards Merger

The board of trustees of the University of New Hampshire has approved an affiliation with the Franklin Pierce Law Center. A full merger can take place pending approval by the American Bar Association and a regional accrediting body. At that time, the law school will become the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

This merger comes after a similar announcement between the Southern New England School of Law and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. It appears that stand-alone law and medical schools are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with counterparts that are part of major research institutions, and are dwindling in numbers.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

USU-CEU Merger Legislatively Approved

The merger of Utah State University and the College of Eastern Utah will become official with the Utah governor's signature, after approval by the state legislature. The merger will take effect July 1, and the 2,100 student CEU will be known as Utah State University - College of Eastern Utah. Merger benefits outlined by proponents include providing more Utah students with opportunities for high-quality higher education.

Recent articles on the subject are listed below.