Monday Mid-DayLearning Opps

To Merge or Not to Merge? A Question Higher Education Needs to Consider

  • Monday, July 31
  • 02:00 PM - 03:15 PM
  • Minneapolis Conv Ctr
  • 205B
  • SK


Karen House

Vice President for Finance and Business (CFO)

Salem State University

Salem, Massachusetts

Kasia Lundy

Managing Director

Parthenon EY

Boston, Massachusetts

Allen Morrison

Chief Executive Officer and Director General of the Thunderbird School of Global Management

Arizona State University

Shelley Nickel

Executive Vice Chancellor for Strategy and Fiscal Affairs

University System of Georgia

Seth Reynolds

Managing Director


Boston, Massachusetts

Steve Wrigley


University System of Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia


The decades-long expansion of higher education institutions is over, with the industry now in an era of diminished state and federal spending, lagging personal incomes of college-going families, and increased demand for accountability through outcomes. This new era demands a significant shift in strategy, toward more collaborations and partnerships. Beyond simple agreements to share back-office operations or cross-list courses, collaboration may involve institutional mergers. While institutions at the greatest risk of failure must consider mergers out of necessity, those in positions of strength may seek acquisitions for the opportunities presented.

Learning Objectives

  • Explore when to consider expanding partnerships or pursuing a potential merger or acquisition strategy.
  • Recognize common pitfalls when institutions or systems consider broader partnerships.
  • Examine the roles of campus and system leaders in managing the merger and acquisition process from due diligence through implementation.