According to a new book, Strategic Mergers in Higher Education, it’s well past time for college leaders to view mergers as “a tactic to be considered proactively, deliberatively, and without fear.”
The book’s authors, Ricardo Azziz, Guilbert C. Hentschke, Lloyd A. Jacobs, and Bonita C. Jacobs, couldn’t be more right.
All too often boards and leaders avoid considering the strategic potential of mergers because they view merging as a failure of leadership—the disappearance of an institution perhaps and its legacy. Although the authors suggest in an interview with Inside Higher Ed that that sense of failure is rooted in the fact that for many institutions, a merger comes about as a last-ditch action when all else has failed to save the institution, it need not be this way.
Schools could instead view mergers as a strategic opportunity to create a more effective, lasting institution capable of better serving students and the community.