Mergers In Higher Education: A Proactive Strategy To A Better Future?
The decision to consolidate or merge higher education institutions is never easy, and the process is nearly always painful and costly. But given the potential benefits, and current fiscal realities, leaders need to consider mergers in their long-term strategic plans.
As financial support for public colleges and universities declines and the drive for efficiency increases, higher education leaders have considered options ranging from developing systems of shared services to shared campuses, affiliations, partnerships, and co-branding efforts. In this context, mergers and consolidations often are presented as the option of last resort. They shouldn’t be, argue this report’s authors, who delineate the decision-making criteria and implementation details of mergers, as well as the critical what, why, and how of successfully merging and consolidating institutions.
Drawing on their direct experiences leading successful mergers within higher education – and their deep knowledge of the history of mergers in the sector – the authors provide a rigorous analysis of the potential gains and costs of mergers and outline specific criteria for achieving success.