In a groundbreaking move that promises to transform higher education in New Jersey, Bloomfield College announced its merger with Montclair State University, but the transition means people will lose their jobs and indicates a possible trend as schools collapse in the face of new economic challenges.
In October 2022, the Boards of Trustees of Bloomfield College and Montclair State University signed an Agreement and Plan of Merger, advancing plans to create “Bloomfield College of Montclair State University.”
Now the two institutions are developing comprehensive plans to ensure a smooth transition for all students, staff and faculty. All relevant communications and resources will be shared here in real time to keep everyone informed.
The merger is aimed at creating a stronger and more competitive higher education institution in New Jersey, and to provide a wider range of educational opportunities for students in the region. Both institutions have a long history of serving students in the state and have established themselves as leaders in the higher education landscape.
Bloomfield College, a private liberal arts college located in Bloomfield, New Jersey, has been providing quality education for over 150 years. Montclair State University, a public research university located in Montclair, New Jersey, is one of the largest universities in the state and has been ranked as one of the top public universities in the country.
The merger will result in a new entity that will be known as Montclair State University-Bloomfield College, which will have a combined enrollment of over 25,000 students.
The new institution will offer a wider range of degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, in fields such as business, education, health sciences, liberal arts, and sciences.
According to the presidents of both institutions, the merger will allow for greater efficiency and collaboration between the two institutions, and will result in cost savings for students and families.
The new entity will also benefit from the strengths of both institutions, including Bloomfield College’s commitment to social justice and Montclair State’s strong research and innovation culture.
The merger is expected to be completed by the end of the 2023-2024 academic year, pending approval from regulatory bodies and accreditation agencies.
The presidents of both institutions have expressed their excitement about the merger but at least 22 full-time employees at Bloomfield College — or about 13% of the private college’s faculty and staff— are losing their jobs when the two schools merge on June 30.
“After 28 years of teaching biology at Bloomfield College, I learned in November that our institution would be acquired by Montclair State University,” said Jim Murphy, a longtime Bloomfield College professor who serves as chair of the Mathematics and Natural Science Division and president of the AAUP chapter. “Like most of my faculty colleagues, Bloomfield has been the focus of my adult life outside of my family.”
“On March 1, 2023, another 22 people were let go from Bloomfield College, including ten full-time, tenured professors with years of service to the institution and students,” said Murphy. “This was a sad day for Bloomfield College. We are heartbroken for our colleagues and sad to be losing their expertise and their dedicated service. The number of layoffs is worse than we had been expecting, and the loss of our colleagues is not going to help us preserve the mission of the college going forward.”
The faculty union at Bloomfield College filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the school with the National Labor Relations Board in February.
The news of the merger has been met with positive reactions from the higher education community in New Jersey, with many praising the move as a bold and innovative step that will help to shape the future of higher education in the state.
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