2022 Here’s how Saint Joseph’s closed its University of the Sciences acquisition


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Saint Joseph’s College accomplished its acquisition of the College of the Sciences on Wednesday, creating what the Jesuit establishment says is likely one of the three largest non-public universities within the aggressive Philadelphia area.

With the deal officially done, Saint Joseph’s has near 400 full-time school members, an endowment totaling $550 million, annual income of $400 million and enrollment of practically 8,900, counting each undergraduate and graduate college students. It has added a brand new metropolis campus, about 5 miles away from its suburban campus. And it is touting the addition of bodily remedy, occupational remedy, pharmacy and doctor’s assistant applications, giving it a complete of 221 tutorial applications.

Wednesday’s closing ends a course of for the College of the Sciences that dates again to the summer time of 2020, when it began searching for a accomplice. The establishment, which was based in 1821 and operated underneath a number of names over time — together with the Philadelphia School of Pharmacy and Science — sought extra scale in order that its applications might proceed into the long run.

The College of the Sciences efficiently discovered a accomplice earlier than its funds compelled it to take action —  a notable reality in a world of upper training mergers and acquisitions the place schools are typically compelled to shut after failing to finish offers. Additionally notable is that the establishments had vital variations. The College of the Sciences was a secular establishment being acquired by a Catholic establishment, which solid into the limelight the church’s stances reminiscent of its opposition to contraception.

That left quite a bit to debate with Saint Joseph’s President Mark Reed and Provost Cheryl McConnell, who answered questions concerning the acquisition and the steps wanted to see it via.

This interview has been edited for readability and brevity. 

HIGHER ED DIVE: How did the acquisition course of go because the settlement was first made public final yr?

cheryl mcconnell

Cheryl McConnell

Courtesy of Saint Joseph’s College


CHERYL MCCONNELL: The sheer scope of the work within the final yr is gorgeous in its depth and breadth. We anticipated that it might be quite a lot of work, and it was. Additionally, it was satisfying and thrilling work.

It began with the willpower of a brand new college construction, after which it went to the willpower of which applications could be continued, modified, taught out, introduced over as is, after which it went to workforce planning and to integration and orientation.

With greater ed mergers, you may have extra teams with a say and a stake within the consequence than you may in different sectors.


Mark Reed

Courtesy of Saint Joseph’s College


MARK REED: What makes universities completely different from, say, for-profit firms is we’ve got constituents: school, college students, workers, alumni, native civic leaders, accreditors, mother and father — you identify it. And there’s a lot of decentralization of authority and quite a lot of shared governance that makes universities run.

This is not 4 or 5 individuals who go right into a room with a bunch of legal professionals and are available out 5 months later with a solution.

On the similar time, you may’t run a college by committee. So there needs to be a steadiness of these specific roles.

Did you run into any sudden boundaries or challenges?

REED: From my perspective, there was not an enormous one. It’s a must to simply continuously remind people concerned of what’s really occurring. 

For instance, we’re going to have, now, as a part of Saint Joseph’s College, a major footprint within the well being professions house. We’re going to have applications in doctor assistant, bodily remedy, occupational remedy and, after all, pharmacy, which is the foundational program that the College of the Sciences was based on 200 years in the past.

It’s a crucial half of what’s a broad-based portfolio that has continued to be grounded in our Jesuit mission and Jesuit custom, which is grounded within the liberal arts and sciences.

It is a merger. However you understand, the truth is, on the finish of the day, it is one establishment. That is Saint Joseph’s College. The time period acquisition is not used as ceaselessly, however that is in impact what it’s in a sensible actuality. I am the president. Saint Joseph’s College’s board is the board, all of these sorts of issues.


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