This week’s episode of The Key examines the growing pressures on colleges to consider working with other institutions to bring significant changes in how they fulfill their missions – and the structural and cultural barriers that tend to make cross-institutional collaboration so hard to pull off.

Merger is something of a dirty word in higher education, given that most of them are takeovers in which one college usually disappears. But as financial, demographic and other changes force many colleges to consider significant changes in how they operate, cross-institutional collaboration of one sort or another – be it sharing of back-office operations, cooperation on academic programs, or a merger – is likely to grow.

In this week’s episode of The Key, we discuss the Transformation Partnerships Fund, a new philanthropic effort to encourage colleges and universities to contemplate alliances that can better help them serve students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The conversation features John MacIntosh of SeaChange Capital Partners and Art Dunning, former president of Albany State University, who oversaw that institution’s merger with Darton State College and advises the fund. And Sister Margaret Carney, president emerita of St. Bonaventure University, offers a cautionary tale about a merger that didn’t happen – and what went awry.

Hosted by Inside Higher Ed Co-founder and Editor Doug Lederman.

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