• Take a cold-eyed view if there is financial difficulties and be proactive in taking action. Don’t proceed with a hope and a prayer if the budget is blown. Don’t wait to be surprised.
  • In these situations, no one is happy. Students and faculty at the institution being taken over are upset and they don’t know where to place their emotions. The receiving institution often is the target of the students’ and faculty members’ ire.
  • It is critical to focus on transparency. Be visible and available during these times to help people understand what is going on and also what has not been decided yet.
  • Leaders and board members of higher education institutions need to take a realistic look at finances and make a tough choice in relation to whether to remain open or consider a different path, whether that’s a merger, acquisition or closure.
  • Institutions need to look at decisions in ways that leave behind legacy. Therefore, decisions need to be based on having thought through decisions thoroughly instead of basing them on what has always been or what is expedient.
  • Smaller institutions tend to struggle economically, especially with the COVID crisis. Therefore, these institutions often are in need of assistance and are ripe for these type of partnerships and/or acquisition.
  • Partnerships can creatively offer solutions for institutions that are struggling.
  • Partnering institutions can create these partnerships in ways that create economic benefits in operational areas such as residence services, food service, custodial services, HR, and security services. This allows institutions to focus their financial sources more on teaching and learning.
  • In some partnerships, the partners need to remain independent. In addition, they need to take into account the economic benefit that the struggling institution offers to a community. Through doing this, the partnership can create a win-win-win situation for everyone involved.

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