Saint Leo College will acquire Marymount California

Saint Leo University, a liberal arts establishment in Florida, will merge with Marymount California University, a liberal arts institution on the West Coastline.

The two Roman Catholic universities, additional than 2,500 miles aside, sealed the offer Thursday just after seven months of negotiations. Leaders at the two institutions hope to complete the transaction by January 2023, according to Brian Marcotte, president of Marymount California. Saint Leo will find approval of the acquisition from the Southern Association of Schools and Educational institutions Fee on Faculties, its accreditor, commencing Sept. 1.

Marymount California has sought a buyer for a though. The university began seeking for a spouse establishment two a long time ago after its leaders expressed worry about the changing and aggressive better education and learning landscape. Marymount’s undergraduate enrollment has declined steadily given that it peaked at 1,179 college students in the course of the 2014-15 tutorial year, information from the Countrywide Center for Schooling Stats showed. During the 2019-20 educational yr, the college enrolled 622 undergraduates.

“Like each individual university, we want to draw in more pupils to the plans that we have,” Marcotte explained. “We’re a tiny university, and we want to present as a great deal as we can. We could develop plans like that, or we could be part of with someone else who previously has the courses — and which is the pathway we went down.”

The COVID-19 pandemic hastened Marymount California’s research. When the university was compelled to shut its campus in the spring of 2020, it struggled to keep pupils via on-line mastering. Several Marymount pupils pick the university for the reason that of the restricted-knit, residential campus, which was unavailable in the course of the pandemic, Marcotte mentioned.

“I’ll just be very blunt — that will cause some damage in conditions of enrollment,” Marcotte stated. “We know and knew then that we would have to do something definitive to support rebuild following we started off back up again.”

Simply because both equally universities are nonprofit establishments, Saint Leo will not technically invest in its California peer, claimed Jeffrey Senese, president of Saint Leo. Rather, Marymount will successfully donate its land and house to Saint Leo in trade for Saint Leo having on Marymount’s financial debt.

Marymount California’s long-lasting financial debt is about $3.7 million, and the establishment is valued at $60 million, building the merger “a safe decision” for Saint Leo, Senese claimed.

Saint Leo designs to retain an “overwhelming majority” of the California university’s employees and will very likely employ the service of supplemental personnel immediately after the merger is full, Senese mentioned. The Florida-centered college will also recruit two of Marymount’s current board customers to be part of the Saint Leo board.

Marymount’s current plans will continue as is all through the changeover, just after which they will work under the Saint Leo name and brand name. Saint Leo ideas to give some on the internet classes at its California campus throughout and following the transition period.

“We have 70 on-line applications, so we’ll do on the net out there, for certain,” Senese reported. “We’re previously accredited in California to do that.”

Marymount California learners will be equipped to graduate and gain degrees from the college during the changeover period. After that, they will still be in a position to stay at the California campus but will be enrolled at Saint Leo.

Saint Leo’s on the internet systems are growing. Throughout the pandemic, on the net enrollment at the college jumped from 4,000 pupils to 10,000. 3 many years back, the college lent its online system internet marketing skills to Notre Dame de Namur University, which was battling to market place its master’s system in public administration.

Marcotte options to remain on as Marymount California’s president through the changeover period of time, and he is uncertain what will be future for him after its completion.

“I will do whatsoever is essential to support this transaction go as effortlessly as it probably can,” Marcotte claimed.

When Marymount has sought a consumer, Saint Leo has been looking to expand its reach.

“We feel that this is a probable model for the foreseeable future, that we would decide up a selection of partners this way,” Senese stated. “We’ve strategically finished some market scientific studies throughout the place and are on the lookout at marketplaces the place we really don’t have existence and where by we feel our brand name and our variety of strategy will make feeling.”

The university previously operates 17 adult finding out centers in the United States, several of which are situated on or in the vicinity of armed forces bases.

“We observed that all those navy communities seriously like what we offer,” Senese claimed.

All 17 of individuals centers were being crafted out independently by Saint Leo — Marymount California is the university’s first acquisition.

The university was negotiating with Iowa Wesleyan University past 12 months about probably attaining the institution, but all those talks fell apart just after the two establishments strike roadblocks connected to fiscal problems, college student economical aid and accreditation. Saint Leo also talked with Wesley College about a possible acquisition right before the Delaware liberal arts establishment was bought by Delaware Point out College.

But Marymount is just the commencing of Saint Leo’s growth, in accordance to Senese. He has a take a look at scheduled next week with a further opportunity acquisition applicant.