Merger of two NH colleges amid small college enrollment declines

Merger of two NH colleges amid small college enrollment declines

August 23, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


>>WELCOME TO NEW HAMPSHIRE’S
BUSINESS, I’M FRED KOCUR. THERE’S A SIGNIFICANT MERGER OF
TWO SMALL COLLEGES IN NEW
HAMPSHIRE TAKING PLACE AND IT’S
SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE IT’S AGAINST
A BACK DROP OF OTHER SMALL
COLLEGES AROUND NEW ENGLAND THAT ARE CLOSING. SO HERE ARE THE TWO COLLEGES. THEY ARE THE INSTITUTE OF ART IN
MANCHESTER FOUNDED IN 1898, 350
STUDENTS ENROLLED DOWN FROM 450
IN 2015. 1946, 208 ENROLLED LARGEST IN
ITS HISTORY. WITH ME TO TALK ABOUT THIS ARE
THE PRESIDENTS OF BOTH THE
COLLEGES. DR. MICHELLE PERKENS. AND KENT DEVEREAUX, NEW
HAMPSHIRE INSTITUTE OF ART HERE
IN MANCHESTER. WELCOME.>>THANK YOU.>>NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE. WHAT LED TO THIS MERGER,
MICHELLE?>>WELL, IT STARTED WITH A
CONVERSATION. KENT AND I HAVE KNOWN EACH OTHER
FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND WE WERE
TALKING ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF
SOME COLLABORATION IN OUR ART
AND DESIGN PROGRAMS, ONE
CONVERSATION LED TO ANOTHER. WE STARTED TALKING ABOUT A
MERGER AND OUR RESPECTIVE BOARDS
OF TRUSTEES HAD CONVERSATIONS
AND HERE WE ARE TODAY.>>KENT, YOU’VE HAD AN
ENROLLMENT DECLINE IN THE LAST
COUPLE OF YEARS. HAS THAT HELPED TO LEAD TO THIS
MERGER?>>I THINK IT BRINGS TO LIGHT
THE CHALLENGE THAT ALL SMALL
COLLEGES FACE IN THE UNITED
STATES. ANY COLLEGES ARE HAVING PROBLEMS
WITH THE DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFT
THEY’RE GOING THROUGH AND THAT’S
ESPECIALLY ACUTE IN NEW ENGLAND
AND NEW HAMPSHIRE.>>THE NEW ENGLAND INSTITUTE OF
ART HAS CLOSED SO ART EDUCATION
IS HAVING SOME ENROLLMENT ISSUES
AND YOU’VE HAD A VERY SUCCESSFUL
RUN OVER AND ABOVE YOUR
ENROLLMENT, YOU ARE EDUCATING THE COMMUNITY?>>WE’RE EDUCATING THE
COMMUNITY, WE’VE BEEN IN THE
COMMUNITY FOR 120 YEARS, THIS
MERGER WON’T CHANGE ANY OF THAT
AND I THINK THIS IS AN
OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO EXPAND INTO NEW AREAS AND I THINK
THAT’S WHERE THESE ORIGINAL
CONVERSATIONS WITH MICHELLE–
>>AND ANY NAME CHANGES WITH THE
INSTITUTE OF ART?>>IN THE SHORT-TERM, NO. LONG-TERM, WE DON’T KNOW.>>AND STUDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO
TAKE COURSES AT EACH OTHER’S
INSTITUTIONS?>>YES.>>THAT’S ONE OF THE BIG
BENEFITS.>>ONE OF THE BIG BENEFITS, NO
QUESTION ABOUT IT.>>WHAT ARE THE TARGET MARKETS
NOW FOR YOUR COMBINED COLLEGES? WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO GO FOR
STUDENTS, WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO
MARKET YOURSELF?>>WELL, NEW ENGLAND COLLEGE HAS
BEEN EXTENDING ITS REACH IN
TERMS OF MARKETING TO STUDENTS
OUTSIDE OF NEW ENGLAND. AS YOU KNOW, THERE’S A
DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFT, A DOWNWARD
TREND IN 18 TO 22 YEAR OLDS,
PARTICULARLY IN YOUNG SO WE’VE
BEEN —
PARTICULARLY IN NEW ENGLAND. AND WE’VE BEEN MARKETING OUTSIDE
OF NEW ENGLAND, I’M HAPPY TO SAY
SUCCESSFULLY.>>WE SEE THAT AS WE COMPLETE
THE MERGER WITH NEW HAMPSHIRE
INSTITUTE OF ART AND ALSO
FOCUSING ON INTERNATIONAL
STUDENTS AND OF COURSE, THE
ADULT LERNER MARKET, WHICH IS VERY BIG AND WE HAVE A
SIGNIFICANT ONLINE ENROLLMENT
AND WE SEE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ART
AND DESIGN IN THAT AREA AS WELL.>>THERE HAVE BEEN MORE
COLLABORATIONS AND MERGERS
AROUND THE COUNTRY IN RECENT
YEARS THAN USUAL, AND SOME
COLLEGES CLOSING, MOUNT IDA IN
MASSACHUSETTS. DANIEL WEBSTER HERE IN NEW
HAMPSHIRE, AND IN THE LAST
COUPLE OF YEARS, OR RECENTLY. WHAT’S GOING ON IN HIGHER
EDUCATION, ESPECIALLY IN THE
SMALL COLLEGES? WHY IS THERE AN ENROLLMENT ISSUE
TAKING PLACE?>>IT’S NOT JUST ENROLLMENT,
IT’S A BUSINESS ISSUE. SO A SMALL COLLEGE IS A BUSINESS
SO YOU THINK ABOUT THE PRESSURE
THAT ANY SMALL BUSINESS FACES,
HEALTH CARE COSTS AND SO, ALL OF
THE THINGS THAT YOU LOOK FOR IN
A BUSINESS TO DRIVE EFFICIENCY, YOU LOOK AT ECONOMIES OF SCALE. TRADITIONALLY HIGHER EDUCATION
HAS NOT BEEN VERY GOOD AT THAT
SO YOU’RE SEEING THE TRENDS OF
MERGERS AND BACK END SAVINGS
WHICH MICHELLE IS TALKING ABOUT
WHICH ALLOWS YOU TO FOCUS ON THIS AS WELL.>>SAME QUESTION, MICHELLE.>>YES, THERE’S A DEMOGRAPHIC
SHIFT DOWNWARD, BUT THERE ARE
MANY OPPORTUNITIES AS WELL. SO, CHANGE IS THE NORM IN HIGHER
EDUCATION AND THE NOTION OF
MERGING HAS BECOME MORE COMMON
IN HIGHER EDUCATION. IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE, NOT ONLY
BECAUSE THE STUDENT BENEFITS
WITH ENRICHED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS,
BUT BECAUSE, JUST AS KENT SAID,
ECONOMIES THAT ARE ACHIEVED FROM
ADMINISTRATIVE CONSOLIDATION AND IN OUR CASE, THE DEPTH AND
BREADTH ALLOWED US TO HAVE A
GREATER REACH IN A BROADER
MARKET.>>WHEN WILL IT BE COMPLETED?>>THE FIRST FACE IN OCTOBER.>>OCTOBER.>>AND THERE ARE OTHER PHASES
AFTER THAT?>>YES.>>AND WE’LL MOVE TO A FULL
MERGER ABOUT A YEAR AFTER THAT.>>ALL RIGHT. DOCTOR MICHELLE PERKENS
PRESIDENT OF THE NEW ENGLAND
COLLEGE IN HENNIKER, THANK YOU. AND DR. KENT DEVEREAUX,
PRESIDENT NEW HAMPSHIRE
INSTITUTE OF ART HERE IN
MANCHESTER. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>AND GOOD LUCK WITH THE
MERGER.>>THANK YOU.>>THANKS.>>IF YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO THAT
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