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9781421432601
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9781421432618
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Strategic Mergers in Higher Education

With the pool of high school graduates decreasing, national and global competition increasing, and the need to invest in new technologies and approaches growing, many universities and small colleges alike are struggling—not just to thrive, but to survive. In this challenging environment, mergers and consolidations are often viewed as options of last resort. Strategic Mergers in Higher Education, however, argues that college and university mergers are a legitimate and proactive strategic option to help ensure success, maximize quality and service, and yield the best return for faculty and students.

In this thoughtful book, Ricardo Azziz and his coauthors—including higher education leaders who have led successful consolidations—address the many questions surrounding institutional mergers. When, they ask—and why—should a merger be considered? How can leaders deal effectively with the many challenges and opposition that a merger will inevitably face? What are the predictors of merger failure and success? And how do we successfully address the postmerger cultural divide?

This thorough text demonstrates how mergers can dramatically accelerate the goals of postsecondary institutions. The book is informed by an extensive review of published reports, interviews with over thirty higher education leaders, individual case studies, and the experiences of the authors themselves. Addressing numerous critical questions, this practical guide is aimed at higher education leaders and their boards, the campus leaders charged with executing transformative mergers, and any policy makers interested in change management or the future of higher education.

About the Authors

Ricardo Azziz is a research professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York, and the chief officer of academic health and hospital affairs for the SUNY System Administration. He led the merger that created Georgia Regents University (now Augusta University), serving as its founding president. Guilbert C. Hentschke is the Richard T. Cooper and Mary Catherine Cooper Chair Emeritus at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education, where he served as dean from 1988 to 2000. Lloyd A. Jacobs is President Emeritus of the University of Toledo, where he led the merger of UT with the Medical College of Ohio. Bonita C. Jacobs led the merger of Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University to form the University of North Georgia, where she serves as the founding president.

Endorsementss

"While many pundits have predicted the consolidation and merger of hundreds of colleges and universities, none has had the foresight or expertise to advise schools on how to navigate this complex process. This guide—the first of its kind—will be an invaluable resource to the governing boards and officers of many colleges and universities seeking to continue to fulfill their mission in an increasingly challenging market environment."

- Ryan Craig, Co-Founder / Managing Director, University Ventures, and author of A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College

"A very strong, practical contribution that will be useful to higher education leaders, governing boards, faculty leaders, scholars of higher education, and policy makers. The timeliness of the book makes it particularly important."

- David J. Chard, Dean ab interim, Boston University

"The authors should take pride in the publication of this collection of important chapters on a hot topic: addressing the broader sustainability of higher learning. Strategic Mergers in Higher Education provides cogent and incisive perspectives on the deployment of mergers as a strategic direction for institutions to deploy under the right circumstances and conditions. This significant contribution to higher education mergers is worth the read."

- James E. Samels, CEO and President, The Education Alliance, coauthor of The New American College Town: Designing Effective Campus and Community Partnerships

"As mergers and major campus transformations increasingly become the focus for institutional leaders, we must engage our faculty and staff in the development and implementation of our plans. Lack of deliberate, thoughtful engagement with our colleagues could lead to the creation of a culture that is not productive and ultimately detrimental to the new organization. This book provides a great starting point to help consider human capital needs in the transformation process."

- Andy Brantley, President and CEO, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources

"A quality education is one that leads to a job and a lifetime of opportunity after graduation. In order to lead to that future of promise, we must first provide students with a sound education, delivered in an efficient, cost-effective way. That's ultimately what Strategic Mergers in Higher Education is all about: how to give the students of today an education worthy of the jobs of tomorrow, in the twenty-first century and beyond. But preparing for what the future holds can at times be difficult and requires letting go of the precepts of the past. Places of learning all around our country can learn from the work thoughtfully presented in this book."

- Nathan Deal, former Governor, State of Georgia

"One of the very few certainties for America's colleges and universities is that many of their core historical assumptions are open to reexamination. One of these involves governance and management, exploring the possibility of combining institutions in a variety of configurations. For those seeking a new volume that will test their beliefs in this arena, and even legitimately claim to be both a 'how to' and a 'should we,' this is the one."

- Barry Munitz, Chancellor Emeritus, California State University

"The decision to consolidate or merge higher education institutions to address financial sustainability concerns is never easy. This book is an invaluable resource to help ensure that decisions are strategic, well informed, well communicated, and implemented with excellence. A must-read for thoughtful leaders seeking innovative solutions."

- Anne Ollen, Senior Director, TIAA Institute

"Mergers and acquisitions aren't part of a distant higher ed future—they are a present-day reality. This book provides a roadmap to understanding mergers not as a measure of last resort but as a proactive and credible option that should be considered. It is a must-read for any leader considering a merger."

- Amit Mrig, President, Academic Impressions

"Mergers in higher education are a central reality of contemporary academe, in the United States and globally. This unique book provides a multifaceted discussion of mergers based both on a thorough survey of available research and on practical experience. It is a valuable addition to our knowledge and comes at the right time."

- Philip G. Altbach, Director, Center for International Higher Education, Boston College

"Academic mergers are usually harder than business mergers because of heightened branding, location, and political considerations, including faculty concerns. However, finances, technology, student demographics, and other factors sometimes require looking at options that include a merger. This book is written by people who have lived through the issues and provides an intelligent look at the changing landscape."

- Peter McPherson, President, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

"Our colleges and universities are reimagining their future existence in order to educate the new majority and be vital to society. One of the options available to campuses is mergers. This book will provide boards of trustees, presidents, and policymakers the necessary information to have on hand as a merger is being considered. It is indispensable."

- Mildred García, President, American Association of State Colleges and Universities

"Strategic Mergers in Higher Education offers practical benchmarks against which education executives, trustees, and major donors can measure colleges and universities to determine their optimal scale of operations. This deep dive into what works best under what circumstances recognizes that mergers involve not just institutions, but also cultures."

- Michael Milken, Chairman, Milken Institute

"Mirroring the trends in many industries, mergers of higher education institutions are increasingly frequent. While much has been written about this growing trend in business, this book uniquely addresses the special considerations for colleges and universities and provides critical advice to leaders responsible for designing and implementing strategies to effectively position their institutions in this new reality."

- Claire Pomeroy, MD, President, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation

"Strategic Mergers in Higher Education presents a significant compendium of transformative options that recognize a massive postsecondary infrastructure that we as a nation can no longer afford. More importantly, it is a handbook for the future. A very succinct example of the power of systemness."

- Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor Emerita, State University of New York

"Are mergers a shotgun marriage or a marriage made in heaven—or both? The authors walk us through the ins and outs of an increasingly important topic in higher education with rich examples and a paucity of jargon. Thoughtful. Compelling."

- Adrianna J. Kezar and William G. Tierney, Co-directors, Pullias Center for Higher Education, University of Southern California

"This timely and important book is a must-read for institutional leaders as they seek to navigate the choppy waters of higher education. Going beyond buzzwords and simplistic formulations, the authors provide easy-to-access, stage-by-stage, research-based advice to institutions considering a strategic merger. Anyone considering a merger who does NOT read this book does so at their own risk."

- Ted Mitchell, President, American Council on Education

"In 2011, the University System of Georgia announced a systematic plan to consolidate some of our thirty-five public universities. This book addresses many of the complexities of mergers and is a must-read for governing boards considering a merger. It is both an overview of the rationale for merger and a realistic look at the details of merger, written by presidents who provide a unique, experienced view of the complexities of mergers. In Georgia's case, the results are worth the effort."

- Steve Wrigley, Chancellor, University System of Georgia

"Strategic Mergers in Higher Education provides a practical guide to help institutions find and form meaningful partnerships to help them thrive well into the future. It's a must-read for presidents, boards, and anyone interested in what's next for the nation's colleges and universities."

- Jeffrey J. Selingo, Founder, Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership

"This book provides a comprehensive guide to issues that a college or university should keep in mind if it is contemplating a merger. Trustees and campus leaders would do well to read this book before becoming immersed in the details of their own discussions of merger."

- Richard Ekman, President, The Council of Independent Colleges

"A timely guide for when and how to merge colleges and universities, this book examines successful mergers like that of the University of Toledo and the Medical University of Ohio, which happened on my watch. It will inspire and inform higher education leaders everywhere."

- Bob Taft, Former Governor of Ohio
Johns Hopkins University Press
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