Atlantic Union College and Loma Linda University Move Toward Affiliation Agreement


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A press release: South Lancaster, Massachusetts— The initial details of a planned campus affiliation between Loma Linda University (LLU), Loma Linda, California, and Atlantic Union College, South Lancaster, Massachusetts, was voted by the Loma Linda University Board of Trustees today (Wednesday, December 10).

The trustees voted that the Loma Linda University administration draft details of an affiliation agreement with Atlantic Union College that attempts to protect AUC's accreditation for the two-year period of 2009 to 2011. The Loma Linda and Atlantic Union College administrations will be in consultation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (the regional accrediting body) in the course of drafting the affiliation agreement.

"The terms of the agreement, along with financial implications for Loma Linda University during the two-year period, will be presented for the Loma Linda University and the Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Board of Trustees consideration before the end of January 2009," says Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, president of Loma Linda University.

If board approval is given to the affiliation agreement, and if continued accreditation is secured or reasonably assured for the two-year period, an agreement regarding the possible merger between Loma Linda University and Atlantic Union College will be presented to Loma Linda's board of trustees by May, 2010, according to Dr. Hart. "If that proposal is approved, Loma Linda's and AUC's boards of trustees then could move toward a merger implementation."

Loma Linda University is a private university 60 miles east of Los Angeles, California, and was founded in 1905 as the College of Medical Evangelists. Loma Linda, along with Atlantic Union College, are institutions founded on the principles of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Loma Linda includes eight schools—Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Religion, and Science and Technology, and a Faculty of Graduate Studies offering more than 200 degree and certificate programs. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges(WASC).

Over the past three months, Loma Linda and AUC trustees, faculty, and staff have been in exploratory discussions regarding affiliation opportunities. "In recent weeks, conversations brought into clear focus the partnership options which we have now decided to pursue going forward to our planned branch campus affiliation and possible eventual institutional merger," states Dr. Hart.

LLU and AUC have developed a mission complementary approach to leveraging their respective program and faculty strengths—and matching these resources with unmet undergraduate and graduate student educational needs. Through discussions, partnership planning retreats, and roundtable conversations, both institutions have reached an agreement in principle as a shared vision for joining these two venerable institutions. The collaboration will enhance Seventh-day Adventist education for Adventist young adults and students in the community from the region.

Central to our values, strategic drivers, and importantly, mutual long-range goals and near-term objectives, Loma Linda and AUC will achieve future enrollment growth based on mission complementary and collaborative programming. The intent is to create an undergraduate health science campus with a variety of health professional career tracks available.

At the heart of partnership will be a carefully planned sequence of phased collaboration, consolidation and merger strategies, aimed at the phased integration of faculty, staff and students. Among the benefits that Loma Linda brings are economies of scale, efficiencies in operation, and non-duplication of program effort.

Initially, Loma Linda will collaborate with complementary academic programs at the AUC campus allowing for cross-registration, dual enrollment, and teaching and learning. During the first six months of the partnership, the faculty and staff will identify programs that can be offered jointly to reduce program and course duplication. Further, Loma Linda and AUC will identify back office operations for future consolidation and cost reduction.

"Norman Wendth, PhD, president of the College, and I are encouraged and supportive of this new affiliation between Atlantic Union College and Loma Linda University," says Donald G. King, DrPH, chairman of the Atlantic Union College Board of Trustees and president of the Atlantic Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The Atlantic Union is headquartered in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, and serves the Northeast United States and the island of Bermuda. "We believe this will be most effective and beneficial to both institutions as they work together in a mission collaborative and community focused way."

Norman Wendth, President Atlantic Union College

Donald King, Chair Atlantic Union College Board of Trustees President, Atlantic Union Conference

Richard Hart, President Loma Linda Univeristy


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1274