Montserrat College of Art to possibly join Salem State University Both boards agree to exploratory process
Salem State University President Patricia Maguire Meservey and Montserrat College of Art President Stephen D. Immerman announced this afternoon that the two institutions have entered into a formal discussion regarding the feasibility of Montserrat College of Art joining Salem State University.
In communications with students, faculty and staff on both campuses, Meservey and Immerman revealed that an initial and confidential due diligence process had concluded and that “we are excited by the potentially significant benefits of such an integration.” The boards of trustees on both campuses have agreed to move forward with the next stage of due diligence to determine the feasibility of joining MCA to SSU and to work through the details of such an effort with both campus communities, emphasizing that the goal would be to have a final agreement in place by July 2015. If finalized, it is anticipated that the full implementation will take effect in the 2017-2018 academic year.
Both presidents stated that the reason for publicly announcing this initiative is to “bring both communities into the discussions necessary to more thoroughly consider all implications of this proposal.”
“Montserrat offers a unique brand of arts education for a unique student population,” said Immerman, “however, as a small, private college with less than 400 students, it is challenging to provide the resources needed to maintain and grow the competitive advantages needed for working artists. By joining Salem State, we believe that we can ensure that the Montserrat name and the college’s tradition of excellence and student-centered education will remain available for future generations of aspiring artists and designers.”
“Joining these two institutions would bring together extraordinarily talented faculty and students from both programs,” said Salem State’s Meservey, and “would enhance opportunities for collaboration and expand access to a broader array of artistic and student centered facilities on both Salem and Beverly campuses.” She went on to add that, “this would be a unique academic program on the North Shore, serving students who find their passion in the arts.”
Both presidents acknowledged that there is much more work to be done in assessing the details of such an agreement and stressed that the process is still in the exploratory phase. Committees comprised of faculty and staff from both campuses will work to evaluate potential benefits and impacts to the students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters of each institution.
Salem State University, established in 1854, is a comprehensive, public institution of higher learning located approximately 15 miles north of Boston, Massachusetts. The university enrolls 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students representing 44 states and 61 nations, and is one of the largest state universities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. With over 200 veterans currently enrolled, Salem State has been designated a Military Friendly institution by G.I. Jobs, placing it in the top 20% of schools nationwide.
Montserrat College of Art is a small, private, residential college of visual art and design, with a student population of 385 students. Founded in 1970, by artists, for artists, Montserrat educates the creative problem solvers of tomorrow. The college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, continuing education classes for teens and adults, and four galleries exhibiting works by international, national and regional contemporary artists.
Karen Murray Cady