Friday, August 7, 2015

While Mergers in Higher Education appear to make sense...two reporters explore the possibilities

There were two interesting articles this week exploring mergers as options for higher education institutions.  

Kellie Woodhouse focused on merger discussions for Inside Higher Ed between Salem State University and the Montserrat College of Art in Massachusetts where the institutions ultimately decided that the costs of proceeding outweighed possible advantages.  Woodhouse's article also includes references to other discussions:  Clarkson University plans to merge with Union Graduate College in New York,  the Berklee College of Music exploring a merger with the Boston Conservatory, and talks between the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and the Maine College of Art.  Woodhouse concludes her article by noting that even when a merger appears to make a lot of sense and "...even if institutions agree on the most basic of things, there’s still 100 ways a merger could fall apart."
Chris Havergal provided a more global perspective on mergers for Times Higher Education.  He notes that experts interview believe that, "Financial pressures and global competition are likely to push more universities into mergers spanning international borders..."  Havergal cites the possibilities before noting that a " predicted in 2009 that mergers between US and UK universities could become commonplace, but there has not yet been one."