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Mergers, Consolidations, and Other Collaborations

Recent social and economic trends forced new ways of thinking and operating in higher education. To tackle these challenges NACUBO produced several resources to help guide your discussions and explore opportunities for transformation through collaboration.

Quick Reads

Below are four downloadable resources with a series of questions from  Winning Combinations: A Guide to Mergers and Acquisitions in Higher Education (supported by EY-Parthenon). The book helps you understand potential challenges inherent in conjoining programs and people from merging institutions. As more institutions have considered the option of a merger or acquisition and have sought to understand the process involved, there has been a growing need for a guide addressing the critical questions:

  • How do such conversations begin?
  • How long can a merger take?
  • Who needs to be involved in the work and when?
  • What are the critical milestones along the way?

Written for both institutions considering their next big strategic move as well as for those wondering how they’ll keep the lights on 10 years from now, this book taps into the collective experience of more than a dozen leaders in higher education who have initiated, observed, facilitated, participated in, contributed to, and analyzed all types of mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations. For more on this topic purchase your copy today.

Watch Now

View on-demand recordings including a recent webcast featuring NACUBO and Deloitte leadership, facilitated by the Lumina Foundation. The session Forum on Inorganic Growth in Higher Education: Mergers, Consolidations, and Other Collaborations provided presidents, chancellors, system heads, and chief business officers an opportunity to discuss the full range of collaborations you might consider for your institution or system—including consortia, mergers, partnerships, acquisitions, and even closure.

Hear a Podcast

Tune into NACUBO In Brief, for an episode with Berklee’s Chief Financial Officer, Mac Hisey, and Anne Ogilby, partner at law firm Ropes and Gray, join NACUBO's Liz Clark to discuss the journey from independent institutions managing shared services to the new, merged school. Anne also shares observations from her extensive experience assisting institutions with mergers, discussing both opportunities and risks. Listen Now.

Key Considerations

Getting Started

This list of questions illustrates the wide range of questions that leaders typically need to address as a potential merger or acquisition moves forward.

Key Players and Their Roles

Regardless of the timetable, a merger or acquisition is a function of shared governance and involves the same key players.

Communications Strategy

Having a communication strategy and plan in place positions both institutions to respond quickly and effectively if they do have a transaction to announce.

Evaluating the Essentials

Whether your institution is the one merging into or absorbing another institution, the due diligence phase calls for an evaluation of a potential partner’s strengths.

Have a Suggestion?

Send your ideas for topics and resources that would be helpful to the higher education community to membership@nacubo.org.