Is a Merger or Acquisition Right for your College?

Written by The StartNoo Team

August 10, 2021

Is your college or university currently performing at its best? It may be time to consider a merger or acquisition! The perfect time is now; not when a possible setback hits that could damage your college or University’s reputation. 


Understanding the Role of a Merger or Acquisition


The reality of a merger or acquisition for higher education is usually seen in a skewed manner. In the public eye, mergers or acquisitions are usually seen as a cover-up for defeat that resulted from significant financial losses or management difficulties. The Growing Role of Mergers in Higher Ed special report states how these assumptions need to be reformed and dismissed from the forefront completely. 


Mergers or acquisitions are better for your educational institution when it’s performing at its best instead of when it’s beginning to fail. This misconception is why mergers or acquisitions are constantly seen as depictions of failure.


Mergers or acquisitions are prime partnership opportunities that push your institution forward in terms of strength and respect. 


#1 Pro-Merger/Pro-Acquisition Reason


It is essential to be mindful of a possible merger for your college or university, especially in light of the recent change relating to students and the workplace. 


It is important that college and university leaders think ahead in a creative, proactive, and strategic manner in order to be prepared for the possible challenges that lay ahead.


This is the only surefire way to be mindful and keep your institution at its best value in order to support the future generations.


#2 Pro-Merger/Pro-Acquisition Reason


Mergers that are strategically implemented utilizing a proactive approach are sure to facilitate success, improve the quality of service being offered, and prioritize the best outcome for students, staff, and the surrounding community. 


Mergers were developed to allow other institutions to merge with your college or university to keep them healthy and far away from defeat when done preemptively. 


# 3 Pro-Merger/Pro-Acquisition Reason


Dr. Ricardo Azziz believes that a merger can actually attract improvement in academic performance for your college or university. However, this is mainly attained when a merger is input with strategic planning. 


The first step is a governing board and executive leader approach. The constant review of where your college or university stands will steer where the plan lands. 


The completed strategic plan should then be adjusted to include opportunities of possible mergers or acquisitions of other institutions or institutions’ programs. This will ensure that intuitive thinking stays a systematic approach. 


Mergers should be used as a means of support rather than be seen as a rescue. By having a well thought out plan implemented beforehand, your college or university will already have a plan ready to go at all times.  


# 4 Pro-Merger/Pro-Acquisition Reason


Mergers for your college or university can be done with private or public institutions. This should only be done when there is a thorough understanding of what the stages of consideration, pre-merger, the actual merger, and post-merger entail.


When considering your potential partner in the agreement, whether they are a private or public institution, it is important to ensure a good understanding of the commitment needed by the governing body and leadership. A united vision, geared urgency, a dedication to effective communication, and a structured project management system are all things needed for the merger or acquisition to be a success.


Mergers are easily successful if the above measures are put into place beforehand and adhered to regardless of the type of institution.


Key Areas to Understand When Considering an Acquisition for Your College or University 

  • Profit or Nonprofit 

Acquisitions are instrumental in academic relations, regardless of its use for a profit or nonprofit college. What is important in having a successful acquisition process with a profit or nonprofit is persistence, management authorizations, and that the necessary negotiations required are understood by both parties.

  • Cultures

Successfully kick-starting or operating an acquisition for your college or university also heavily relies on an adept understanding of cultures and their impact on society. The proper alignment and integration of acquisition are attained by putting the necessary mission and value system in place.  

  • Opportunity

Acquisition thrives best when opportunities are maximized. Demonstrating interest is important as a university or college leader when obtaining an acquisition. 


Useful steps that can be taken include contacting a broker to deal with complicated transactions. It’s helpful when you can highlight the types of institutions you are considering. 


Another critical step includes speaking with former presidents of your college or university. This makes the initiative of improving your college or university a collective effort that helps you open up to more resources and opinions that will help you serve your students best. 




Are you more comfortable now with the idea of a merger or acquisition for your college or university? StartNoo can offer you the support you need to make bold steps in ensuring a merger or acquisition becomes a healthy reality for your university. 


The use of a merger or acquisition within your college or university is a step in the right direction because it will be sure to strengthen your institution while boosting the stability of the other organization you choose; it’s a winning situation on both sides. 


The time spent on individual effort as a college or university can be coupled with another organization or institution to attain and surpass goals. 


The underlying truth is that the use of a merger or acquisition will create better and wider spread opportunities to ensure your students, staff, and surrounding community the absolute best!


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