A petition on Change.org involving seeking more details on the proposed merger of New Hampshire Institute of Art and Southern NH University has surpassed 1,000 signatures, with a goal of 1,500 signatures.
Several of those who’ve signed the public document express concern over how a merger would affect the downtown fine art school, and are requesting a public meeting to discuss matters further with the board.
“I have taught at NHIA for eight years and have invested a great deal of thought, time, and passion into improving it. I know that other faculty can say the same. I want NHIA to maintain its quality, autonomy, and independence, and I do not believe that this is possible under a merger with SNHU,” wrote Martin Fox, who identifies himself as an instructor at NHIA.
According to the text that accompanies the online petition, there is a list of requests being put forth to the NHIA Board of Trustees. It reads as follows:
The nine-point petition reads as follows:
1. Release to the public a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in June of 2014 outlining the nature of the merger;
2. Release the minutes of the NHIA and SNHU Trustee meetings during which this memorandum was approved;
3. Publish the criteria which will be used to determine whether a merger is the best option for each school;
4. Publish the summer 2014 Action Plan to evaluate the benefits for such a merger for each institution, and whether the facts support any forward-momentum of the merger.
5. Delay the September 1, 2014 timeline for solidifying the decision-making process.
6. Develop mechanisms and channels to formally receive feedback from all affected parties including current students, alumni, faculty, and staff.
7. Entertain alternatives to a full merger, such as resource-sharing through agreements, limited engagement trials, time-limited experimentation with outcome evaluation data, etc.
8. Engage the resources of both campuses to create meaningful and scientific methods of assessing outcomes, and provide escape clauses which allow these joint ventures to be dissolved if there is no evidence to support their positive impact on either institution.
9. Grant the NHIA community an emergency meeting with the Board of Trustees before the September 1 deadline.