2 Philadelphia universities elect merger strategy

Dive Brief:

  • Two Philadelphia universities took a considerable action towards an acquisition when they revealed an official merger arrangement recently, describing a procedure to be finished in the summer season of 2022.

  • Terms require the 2,400-student University of the Sciences to combine into the 6,800-student Saint Joseph’s University, producing a bigger organization keeping the Saint Joseph’s name and running both universities’ schools for the foreseeable future.

  • The 2 personal universities stated in February that they were checking out an offer after the University of the Sciences approached Saint Joseph’s.

Dive Insight:

The offer shows ongoing interest in mergers and acquisitions in the personal not-for-profit college area– especially in the Northeast and university-heavy locations likePhiladelphia It likewise shows need for obtaining, beginning or purchasing science and health care programs. The universities provide the modification as enabling Saint Joseph’s to broaden its programs with expert offerings while keeping its liberal arts core.

The strategy likewise highlights how university mergers that seem great fits on paper are intricate matters that require time to finish.

Regulators and accreditors will require to validate the acquisition prior to it’s completed. The 2 universities anticipate to do substantial combination preparation prior to the offer is done. Decisions on staffing levels or whether layoffs will happen have yet to be made, stated a Saint Joseph’s representative.

Details consisted of in an FAQ about the offer consist of that Saint Joseph’s board of trustees will continue to be the governing board for the combined organization, with 4 members of the University of the Sciences’ board signing up with the Saint Joseph’s board. Saint Joseph’s president, Mark Reed, will continue as president after the merger is finished.

Leaders might need to deal with problems of the schools’ distinct histories and identities. Saint Joseph’s is a Jesuit organization established in 1851. It opened a brand-new school for the very first time in 3 years in 2019, its School of Health Studies and Education.

The University of the Sciences was established in 1821 and was referred to as the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science till 1998. It does not have the scale required to run into the future, University of the Sciences President Paul Katz stated Its management started discussing a collaboration or association about 4 years earlier as anticipated group modifications threatened colleges.

“We have a lot of fixed costs, Katz stated. We need more students, or the numbers just don’t work. So it’s really about numbers and trying to get out ahead of this at a time when we felt we were in a good position.

When the acquisition was revealed previously this year, some professor voiced issues about a Roman Catholic organization taking in health care programs due to the fact that of the church’s opposition to birth control and abortion. The FAQ on the offer attends to the subject of Saint Joseph’s spiritual association, stating the university runs under the concepts of spiritual liberty, encouraging individuals and groups to practice their own faith as they choose.

We do not believe that USciences current academic offerings or research will be affected, the FAQ states.


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