CEU, SEATC merge as planned

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Board of Regents executive committee votes to merge, keep options open
Posted Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 12:00am

 The State Board of Regents Executive Committee voted to proceed with the merger of the College of Eastern Utah (CEU) and the Southeast Applied Technology College (SEATC, a campus of the Utah College of Applied Technology or UCAT).  In its October 26, 2006 meeting, the Board initially approved the merger. However, an alternate proposal to the merger was developed under the Regents' motion:

 "Should the Commissioner, UCAT President, and CEU President determine to forward a collaborative plan as an alternate to the proposed merger, such plan shall be submitted to the Commissioner's Office no later than December 30, 2006, and forwarded to the Board of Regents for its January [19], 2007 meeting."

 UCAT and CEU presented an alternate cost-study and plan to Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Kendell.   After carefully reviewing the original collaboration study, the alternate proposal and a line-by-line comparison detailed by the commissioner's staff, Kendell recommended to the Board that it should proceed with the merger.

 "After careful study and detailed analysis of both plans, it is apparent that the Regents acted correctly in October," said Kendell. "The comparisons confirm that the optimal and prudent action for students, the institutions and the state is to merge the two institutions."

 The Board's Oct. 26 action will stand, unless a majority of the Regents contact Kendell or the Board's chair no later than Jan. 12 to request that this issue be placed on the agenda   for discussion by the entire Board   at the Jan. 19 Board of Regents meeting.

College of applied technology students will benefit because they will have access to Pell Grants and other forms of federal financial aid, state financial aid and campus experiences while still obtaining the same type of short-term training they now receive.   The comprehensive community college mission of CEU assures that no programs or services will be lost or diminished.

Merged, the institutions will have the ability to leverage assets within a region of limited resources. The merger will also eliminate the competition for duplicate resources as there will be a sharing of faculty, staff and space.

Overall, the Utah System of Higher Education and the state of Utah will see a renewed emphasis for of the comprehensive community college for the eastern region of the state.

As part of the commissioner's recommendation, a transition team will be established to develop a detailed plan for the merger and the planning for the change should begin immediately. Plans are underway to secure legislative support. For additional details of the recommendation, please see the end of this release.

 During its meeting, the Executive Committee also approved to extend, through Dec. 31, 2007, the University of Utah's option to purchase the Entrada Ranch. The committee authorized the university to expend $75,000 to extend its purchase option.

 Entrada Ranch is located 35 miles northeast of Moab. The university is currently seeking private funding to purchase the property for future academic and research activities. While the institution raises the funds, an individual has proposed to purchase the property on approximately Dec. 31, 2007 and then lease to the university for 10 years at $1 per year and grant the university a 10-year option to purchase the property at the purchase price of $1,660,000. If it opts to purchase the property, the university must first seek approval from both the university's Board of Trustees and the State Board of Regents.                

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