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03-02-2015

Clarkson University and Union Graduate College Announce Intent to Explore Merger

Institutions agree to pursue mutually exclusive discussion designed to strengthen graduate education and create a best-in-class model for bridging research and innovation expertise with the programs industry needs

Potsdam, N.Y., and Schenectady, N.Y. -- Clarkson University and Union Graduate College today announced their intent to pursue a mutually exclusive discussion to explore a merger of graduate programs that would expand opportunities for students, strengthen each institution’s academic mission and further advance the programs that industry turns to for the best graduate and professional education.

Clarkson University logo and Union Graduate College logoProactive discussions grew out of recognition of a close alignment in several key academic disciplines shared by the institutions: Clarkson, a private, nationally ranked research university, and Union Graduate College, which was founded as a college independent of Union College over ten years ago and is recognized for its exceptional programs in professional and graduate-level education.

Based on the remarkable success of their alumni and the depth of expertise among the faculty, both institutions take pride in meeting the needs of industry partners and in anticipating future workforce requirements. The exploration by the faculty and administration at Clarkson and Union Graduate College is aimed at building on complementary existing programs while also providing new opportunities for growth.

Clarkson’s national reputation in engineering, science and management would reinforce Union Graduate College’s strengths in those related disciplines, and offer additional resources to benefit students and alumni of each school. Meanwhile, Union Graduate College’s well-regarded programs in bioethics, healthcare management and education would allow Clarkson to expand its graduate offerings, which also include accredited programs in physical therapy and physician assistant studies.

With an opportunity to centralize functions that will promote enrollment growth through the new alliance, it is envisioned that the Schenectady campus would serve as an integrated hub to market and administer all graduate education. Union Graduate College’s programs in Schenectady, as well as Clarkson’s programs in locations across New York, including Beacon, Potsdam, Saranac Lake and New York City, will not only continue but also grow. The larger footprint and ability to expand course offerings provides students interested in all degree programs with more alternatives, as well as heightened academic resources, robust career services, and an expanded corporate and alumni network.

Union Graduate College President Laura Schweitzer and Clarkson President Tony Collins “This is a tremendous opportunity to bring together two institutions that share a common DNA in providing graduate education of the highest quality,” said Anthony G. Collins, Ph.D., President of Clarkson University. “Joining forces with Union Graduate College, and establishing centralized administration in Schenectady for all of our graduate programs, would support Clarkson’s growing menu of graduate education throughout New York. And, by building on our collective strengths in engineering and management, and seeking to develop new educational initiatives, we intend to reinforce our commitment to supporting both our students and the educational and economic future of New York and the nation.”

“We are excited to pursue this proactive and innovative path forward, which we firmly believe will assure students of a first-rate graduate education while positioning both institutions as the premiere, go-to, responsive educational partner for schools, business and industry, including the healthcare industry,” said Laura Schweitzer, Ph.D., President of Union Graduate College. “The expansion of Union Graduate College’s Schenectady location to also serve as the administrative entity for Clarkson’s graduate programs would offer significant benefits to the Capital Region. Similarly, we see greater opportunities to assist our students in their educational and career endeavors in what will be a game-changer for graduate education in New York.”

If approved by the boards of trustees of each institution and their state and federal accrediting bodies, the collaboration would provide Clarkson with a presence in the Capital Region, where it has a strong alumni base, and foster additional growth of Union Graduate College programs in Schenectady, maintaining current staff and potentially enabling new hires.

“We offer our best wishes to Clarkson University as it discusses the incorporation of Schenectady-based graduate programs offered by Union Graduate College under its umbrella,” said Union College President Stephen C. Ainlay. “Clarkson is well regarded and its presence in the city will only strengthen the array of education opportunities in the region. We also hope that the arrangement will allow the graduate programs that originated at Union College and have been well nurtured by Union Graduate College since 2003 to grow even stronger and expand.”

With the blessing of boards of trustees from each institution, Clarkson and Union Graduate College will now pursue deeper discussions that will touch on issues ranging from academic collaborations to financial models to governance. It is anticipated that a final decision on joining the institutions could be made in the next few months.

About Clarkson University
Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise. For more information, visit www.clarkson.edu.

About Union Graduate College
With graduate programs originally founded at Union College, Union Graduate College was established as an independent college in 2003. As a graduate-only institution, Union Graduate College is dedicated to providing exceptional master’s programs in management, healthcare management, secondary education, engineering, and bioethics. For more information, visit www.uniongraduatecollege.edu or www.facebook.com/uniongraduatecollege.

Photo caption: Clarkson University and Union Graduate College have announced their intent to pursue a mutually exclusive discussion to explore a merger of graduate programs. Above, Union Graduate College President Laura Schweitzer and Clarkson President Tony Collins discuss the merger, which would expand opportunities for students, strengthen each institution’s academic mission and further advance the programs that industry turns to for the best graduate and professional education.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/schweitzer-collins.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information about Clarkson University, contact Kelly Chezum, vice president for External Relations at 315-268-4483 or chezumk@clarkson.edu; or Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu . For more information about Union Graduate College, contact Molly Mattison, director of Communications & Media Relations at 518-631-9924 (office) or 518-232-3358 (cell) or mattisom@uniongraduatecollege.edu.]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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