Merger talks halted between NHIA and SNHU: ‘We heard you,’ say trustees

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New Hampshire Institute of Art
New Hampshire Institute of Art

MANCHESTER, NH – It’s official: Merger talks are off between New Hampshire Institute of Art and Southern New Hampshire University.

Board of Trustees President Joseph Reilly posted a message on the NHIA website on Nov. 20, a response to “reports from various sources” that questions lingered about the art school’s future.

Over the summer NHIA announced it had entered into a memorandum of understanding with SNHU to discuss a possible partnership between the two schools.

In Oct. school officials from both NHIA and SNHU came together to answer questions during a town-hall style meeting, after many concerns were raised by students, faculty and alumni, about the what the proposed merger would mean to the spirit of the small art college.

“We heard you, and we are not engaging in any discussions with SNHU,” wrote Reilly:

Nov. 20. 2014

I have heard reports from various sources that there are still some questions about the Institute’s previous discussions with Southern NH University. As chair of the Institute’s Board of Trustees, I want to assure all of you that any discussions with SNHU about a merger or a deeper relationship have halted and there are no plans to restart these talks.

Coming out of our Town Hall meeting in August, we as a Board stated that we were halting those discussions and were restarting the presidential search.  Since then, we focused on the search and expect to have an announcement in the near future. At the campus level and at the Sharon Arts Center, I know that efforts are directed at serving our students as they work diligently through the fall semester, and recruiting new students and adult learners for 2015.

In summary, please note that our primary focus continues to center on serving our students as best we can. One takeaway from the Town Hall meeting was a need for greater communications across the campus. That’s why I wanted to take this opportunity to assure the community that you spoke, we heard you, and we are not engaging in any discussions with SNHU.


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