Last updated: February 25. 2014 10:44AM - 1173 Views
Staff report

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After about a year of talk of a merger with a North Carolina university, Point University officials announced today that it will not pursue a merger with Montreat College.

The Point University board of trustees issued the following statement following its vote Monday concerning a merger with Montreat College:

“The process of considering a merger between Point University and Montreat College began more than a year ago when a representative of Montreat College approached us with the idea that, if merged, the two schools could improve their delivery of quality, Christian higher education. During our initial discussions, leadership of both schools began to see how a merger could result in increased reach, efficiency and effectiveness in providing Christ-centered education to students across the Southeast. We felt that driven by a common vision, the combined institution would be uniquely positioned to expand program offerings while cost-effectively using its resources to benefit students.

After careful and prayerful consideration, the board of trustees of Point University has determined, due to complications involving legal agreements regarding Montreat’s main campus and concerns about the merger within the Montreat College family, that we cannot pursue this merger.

As a four-year liberal arts Christian institution, Point University remains committed to equipping the next generation of cultural leaders motivated to live out their faith in the marketplace. We continue to enjoy growth in enrollment since relocating our main campus to West Point, Georgia, and our accelerated adult learning programs in East Point, West Point, Peachtree City and Savannah, Georgia, and Birmingham, Ala., are thriving.

We will continue to focus our efforts on preparing a new generation of culturally savvy leaders who want to be a point of influence in their chosen vocation, and we will be praying for Montreat College and its board as they look for ways to continue the college’s educational mission.”

The merger had been met with objections at Montreat College from students, faculty and supporters.

According to a story Feb. 19 from the Associated Press: students at Montreat College protested the move and said they did not want the school’s trustees to proceed with a plan to merge.

Montreat officials said last summer they want to merge the financially troubled school with Point University. A group of Montreat supporters had been trying to raise $2 million in hopes of keeping the school independent. Montreat officials said the school faced a $3 million deficit.

According to an Associated Press report from Friday: Montreat College’s faculty asked for the resignation of trustees who supported the merger. The faculty voted Feb. 19 to approve a letter of no confidence in the board after the board agreed the previous day to continue efforts to merge.

Montreat faculty and students worried that Point could close Montreat’s residential campus. The faculty letter to the board says the trustees have not had proper communication and that the board should be replaced with members committed to continuing the residential campus at Montreat.

A story from the Asheville, N.C., Citizen-Times on Monday said Montreat College could run out of cash to pay salaries and expenses in June, according to a letter from the school’s board of trustees chairman.

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