Higher Ed

Montclair State University and Bloomfield College Announce Merger Plans

'Bloomfield College of Montclair State University' on the horizon

Bloomfield College and Montclair State University (MSU) announced today that the presidents of each institution have been authorized by their boards of trustees to sign an Agreement and Plan of Merger. The document sets forth the terms and conditions under which the two institutions will merge, and advances plans to create “Bloomfield College of Montclair State University.”

Bloomfield College will continue to operate independently, but in close collaboration with MSU, through the 2022-2023 academic year, and until it is officially part of the university. The goal is for the merger to be completed on or before June 30, 2023.

Bloomfield students enrolled at the time of the merger will be able to continue their education without interruption and without additional costs. In addition, MSU will make every effort to provide employment opportunities for Bloomfield College’s current employees.

Bloomfield President Marcheta P. Evans shared her enthusiasm, and her confidence in Montclair’s commitment to Bloomfield College and maintaining its mission, legacy and name. “Bloomfield College of Montclair State University will support and serve our current and future students by providing a transformative educational experience with access to the University’s abundant resources,” Evans said.

According to MSU President Jonathan GS Koppell, the university intends for the college to continue to offer a transformative education with an emphasis on first-generation students from a diversity of backgrounds, empowering them to attain academic, personal and professional excellence in a multicultural and global society.

“Students enrolled at Bloomfield College will benefit from a distinctive educational environment offering a supportive, small college experience enhanced by the resources of a comprehensive public research university,” Koppell said. “This partnership could serve as a new national model for how institutions with similar missions can innovate through integration, and become partners in ensuring student success instead of competitors.”

The merger agreement, approved by both boards, sets the stage for a series of reviews and approvals by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE), and other accreditors and regulators as well as action by the State Legislature. Earlier this year, state leaders showed their support for Montclair’s work with Bloomfield College by allocating $12.5 million to Bloomfield, helping to ensure it can continue serving its students through the 2022-2023 academic year.

Over the next several months, the two institutions will continue to address the many outstanding details and develop comprehensive plans to ensure a smooth transition.

This milestone is another significant step forward in a highly complex process to join the small private four-year college with the large public university.

In October 2021, Bloomfield College publicly announced it was seeking strategic partnerships and philanthropic support from the higher education and corporate communities to enable the four-year institution to continue its vital mission – creating educational pathways that are often not otherwise available for minority and low-income students. More than 81% of Bloomfield College students are people of color, nearly 70% are Pell Grant eligible and the median family income is below $33,000. Bloomfield College is the only four-year college in New Jersey recognized as a Predominantly Black Institution (PBI), Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), and Minority Serving Institution (MSI).

Bloomfield received numerous inquiries from interested institutions, but the most promising came from nearby Montclair State University. As the presidents of the two institutions explored opportunities for collaboration, Bloomfield’s Board of Trustees concurred that Montclair State University was the ideal match.

“The missions of both institutions are closely aligned,” said Bloomfield Board of Trustees Chair Vernon M. Endo. “It was clear that Montclair is as committed as we are to providing traditionally underserved students access to high-quality educational experiences and a pathway to social and economic advancement,” he said.

“I applaud President Evans and President Koppell for their innovative vision in this endeavor,” said Montclair State University Board of Trustees Chair Francis M. Cuss. “Together, we will ensure generations of students will change the trajectory of their lives in supportive academic communities filled with experiential learning opportunities. This partnership will bring the best of both institutions to more students, which can only be seen as a win for the State of New Jersey.”

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