Philadelphia and Jefferson Universities Merger: How Will It Affect Students from Both Universities?By Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
If there were two schools that best describe the phrase "opposites attract," it would be Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University. The former specializes in design while the latter has been considered one of the best in health sciences; thus, there aren't any factors that might guarantee a successful marriage. Yet they went with their original intent to merge and it finally happened. And with that came the question how it will benefit its students.
Looking at the surface, it is easy to surmise that the merger will make both campuses bigger in size. Philadelphia University sits on a sprawling 105-acre ground at the edge of the city while Jefferson is the 13-acre campus in the very heart of the city.
Stephen Klasko, CEO and President of Thomas Jefferson University and who will also become the president after the merger, said that the combined university will have two hubs, namely the East Falls and the Center City campuses. With two hubs, students have more choice where to go and they will not just have more but better facilities as well since Klasko already revealed that they are planning to improve the exercise and dining facilities.
Despite the infrastructure, the most important and obvious benefit for this merger is a bigger population. Once the merger gets approved by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the combined university will have around 7,500 enrollees and 78,000 alumni. That would make them the fifth-largest university in Philadelphia, a little behind St. Joseph University but ahead of Villanova and La Salle.
A large number of alumni base also spells more resources that would allow the school to hire the best faculty and create state-of-the-art facilities. Large enrollment also means an opportunity for more state funds which, in turn, can help lower tuition costs.
Klasko also added that he hoped the merger will revolutionize education "in how we provide greater value in more customized offerings, and in the recognition that design and healthcare are inextricably linked."
Philadelphia University President Stephen Spinelli, Jr can't agree more adding that by enhancing the value they give to their students, they can give more value back into the society.
"We're thinking doctors who are designers, nurses who are managers, designers who are physician assistants, occupational therapists who are industrial designers or who are given education around an interdisciplinary approach," he added.
To ensure a seamless and efficient transition, a market research study has been commissioned by the two universities to create a cohesive brand strategy and implementation plan while maintaining the value of each institution.