This archived article was written by: Devin Bybee
Now that the merger between Utah State University and the College of Eastern Utah is official, what is next and were there any changes made to the merger bill during the legislative process? These are major questions that have circulated throughout CEU’s campus. An abbreviated answer would state that the process is underway and will result in years of implementation. But a more detailed analysis will establish fine details in a matter of specificity.
During legislation session, USU initially asked the state for $1.5 million to help fund the merging process. While the $1.5 million was denied, the state did give USU $500,000 to fund the transitioning procedures.
The five areas of transition cost that USU outlined in their petition for funds include: Student Success Integration (cost of integrating student services and advising and cost of enrollment management integration), Critical Infrastructure Needs (fire alarm systems etc.), IT Integration Needs (cost of banner integration and interfaces and critical IT classroom upgrades for distance learning), Multi – Campus Integration (cost of academic planning and curriculum and multi-campus business and financial planning), Library Integration and Upgrade to Research Standards (license purchases to meet new library service needs) and Public Relations Integration (cost of integrating and improving PR/marketing staff and resources for advancement).
Although these are the areas outlined to be funded, it is unknown how the money will actually be spent. Marketing for both schools will be taken in consideration. New signage will have to be made for CEU, along with letterheads and everything else which represents CEU. How USU wants CEU to advertise the new affiliation is yet to be determined.
Other preparations are still underway. The same groups that were assembled to put together the Memorandum of Understanding, will plan how the merger will be carried out. The IT group has already had their first meeting this week.
Another change that is still open is the new position of chancellor. The chancellor will be over CEU but report directly to the USU president. This is the biggest administrative change that will take place. It will officially show that CEU is no longer independent, but a part of USU.
On a different note, a celebration has been scheduled to welcome in the new union with USU. The celebration will take place the night before graduation at 6 p.m. There will be a celebration dinner for anyone who is interested. Mike King, CEU interim president, and Stan Albrecht, USU President, will both speak at this dinner celebration. There will be graduates of both institutions present and entertainment will inevitably be a part of the celebration.
Later on, Gov. Gary Herbert will do a ceremonial signing of the affiliation bill, which binds the two entities together, at both the Price and San Juan campuses. The time of this event is still undetermined.
The various changes will be the cause of ample amounts of time and grueling work for the campus to smoothly make the transition. According to Brad King, CEU vice president of institutional advancement, “It will be a busy and challenging two to three years, but in the long-term many good things will come about as a result of our affiliation.”