Montclair State, Bloomfield announce agreement to merge

Montclair State University and Bloomfield College will sign an agreement to merge and create “Bloomfield College of Montclair State University,” the two schools announced Wednesday.

The schools’ boards of trustees have authorized the presidents of both institutions to sign an agreement and plan of merger, according to a news release.

Jonathan Koppell. (File photos)

“Students enrolled at Bloomfield College will benefit from a distinctive educational environment offering a supportive, small-college experience enhanced by the resources of a comprehensive public research university,” Montclair State President Jonathan Koppell said in a prepared statement. “This partnership could serve as a new national model for how institutions with similar missions can innovate through integration, and become partners in ensuring student success instead of competitors.”

Bloomfield will continue to operate independently, but in close collaboration with Montclair State, through the 2022-23 academic year, with a goal of completing the merger on or before June 30, 2023.

Marcheta Evans.

“Bloomfield College of Montclair State University will support and serve our current and future students by providing a transformative educational experience with access to the university’s abundant resources,” Bloomfield President Marcheta Evans said in a statement.

Bloomfield students enrolled at the time of the merger would be able to continue their studies without interruption or additional cost, the release indicated. Montclair State “will make every effort” to provide employment for current Bloomfield workers, it added.

Bloomfield had announced in October 2021 that it was seeking strategic partnerships to help it continue its mission. It said it had received numerous inquiries from institutions of higher education.

“The missions of both institutions are closely aligned,” Bloomfield board of trustees Chair Vernon Endo said in a statement. “It was clear that Montclair is as committed as we are to providing traditionally underserved students access to high-quality educational experiences and a pathway to social and economic advancement.”

The two schools said they will address details and develop plans for the transition over the next several months. The merger will be reviewed for approval by various accrediting bodies and governmental agencies, such as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education.

“I applaud President Evans and President Koppell for their innovative vision in this endeavor,” Montclair State board of trustees Chair Francis Cuss said in a statement. “Together, we will ensure generations of students will change the trajectory of their lives in supportive academic communities filled with experiential learning opportunities. This partnership will bring the best of both institutions to more students, which can only be seen as a win for the state of New Jersey.”