Bloomfield College and Montclair State University jointly announced Oct. 26 that their boards of trustees authorized the signing of a merger agreement, paving the way for the creation of Bloomfield College of Montclair State University.
In March, Montclair State announced plans to financially support Bloomfield through the 2022-23 academic year as the two institutions worked to establish a permanent relationship. This was in response to the private university’s earlier call for support.
As part of the agreement announced Wednesday, Bloomfield – which is New Jersey’s only four-year Predominantly Black Institution, as well as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Minority Serving Institution – will continue to operate independently, but in close collaboration with Montclair State, through the 2022-23 academic year, until the two merge.
The next step is a series of reviews and approvals by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, and other accreditors and regulators as well as the state Legislature.
If approved, school officials expect the merger to be completed on or before June 30, 2023.
According to the announcement, Bloomfield students enrolled at the time of the merger will be able to continue their education without interruption and without additional costs. Montclair State also “will make every effort to provide employment opportunities for Bloomfield College’s current employees.”
Earlier this year, state leaders allocated $12.5 million to Bloomfield, helping to ensure it can continue serving its students through the 2022-23 academic year.
“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,” said Bloomfield President Marcheta Evans.
Montclair State President Jonathan Koppell said the merger “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.”
Several elected officials shared their approval, including:
“I am a firm believer that access to high quality education can change the trajectory and outcomes of everyone’s life. It is wonderful to see two institutions that are national leaders in driving social mobility for the students they serve come together to further ensure student success.” – Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz, D-29th District.
“This partnership is a critical enhancement to the higher education ecosystem in New Jersey.” – Senate President Pro Tempore and Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Sandra Cunningham, D-31st District.
“I could not be more pleased that two minority-serving institutions are working together in this manner. … The outstanding leadership of Presidents Marcheta Evans and Jonathan Koppell has crafted creative ideas and put generous state funding approved by the Legislature to good use, and the result is an innovative partnership.” – Assemblywoman and Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee Mila Jasey, D-37th District.
“I am honored to be part of this important partnership coming to fruition, and want to extend my gratitude to Gov. [Phil] Murphy and my fellow legislators for believing in this critically important initiative.” – Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-28th District.
“Education is a powerful tool that can change a person’s life. By establishing this partnership, Montclair State University and Bloomfield College are giving more students the chance to have access to all that a college education can provide.” – Assemblyman Kevin Rooney, R-40th District.