December 17, 2015
Officials from Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University announced Thursday that the two city-based colleges intend to merge.
The combination of the schools has been approved by the boards of trustees at both colleges, and the next step will be to arrive at a "definitive agreement in 2016" that would result in a new university focusing on the fields of health, science, architecture, design, fashion, business and engineering, a news release stated.
Stephen Spinelli Jr., president of Philadelphia University, said the merger will allow the schools to "reimagine education in a way that launches students into the careers of their passion in a bigger, bolder way."
Information posted Thursday on the PhilaU.edu website described the move as fitting in with the school's strategic plan adopted in 2008 to become the "model for professional university education":
Together, we’ll create an unparalleled synergy that combines the power of design thinking, systems thinking, and entrepreneurship with the scientific method and modes of thought. It’s an integration that will bolster the meaning of an education that is active, collaborative, based in the real-world learning and infused with the liberal arts, delivering more value to our entire community.
The statement on the website also said the merger is not about money, noting the schools are "financially and academically strong."
Thomas Jefferson University President and CEO Steve Klasko said the two institutions already have "incredible synergies and significant complementary programs." He added:
"...(W)e can create a model that further disrupts and challenges higher education to deliver great outcomes for 21st century students, employers, patients and our communities."
Thomas Jefferson University has more than 3,900 students enrolled at its Center City campus. Philadelphia University, founded in 1884, has an enrollment of 3,750 students at its East Falls campus.
There was no information immediately provided regarding a name for the combined university. Philadelphia University's website said a name would be chosen after a "thoughtful planning and branding process."
Philadelphia University had been named Philadelphia College of Textiles & Sciences until 1999.