George Washington University’s plan to absorb art school Corcoran College kept the academia buzzing this weekend, Washington Post reports.
With an endowment of $1.3 billion dollars, George Washington University certainly can. And with Corcoran College’s current financial woes, the merger will potentially be beneficial for the two institutions.
However, educational mergers are very complex. Not only will the two schools be sharing the same name; policies regarding scholarships, athletics and academics will have to be revised for the merging to go smoothly.
It was announced Wednesday that George Washington University, an educational powerhouse of 25,000 student, has been engaging in serious talks with the Corcoran College for a possible takeover of the 550-student school. Meanwhile, the National Gallery of Arts has agreed to adopt the extensive arts collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Arts.
Talks of the merger started more than a year ago when George Washington University president Steven Knapp proposed the idea to Corcoran officials on the condition that the college would move out of their current campus. However, talks didn’t pursue and was postponed a year ago.
University of Maryland entered the equation and started courting Corcoran with a partnership deal, including offering a cash infusion to help the design school with its debts. The deal almost happened until Corcoran called University of Maryland to opt out of the partnership just hours before its announcement. Now, George Washington University is back in the game and hopes to settle a proper agreement by April 7.
If the merger pursues, George Washington University will control all of Corcoran’s assets and operations and will be the degree-awarding body for the next batch of Corcoran graduates. Though it is not clear where Corcoran College will hold its place in the George Washington system – whether it will be under the existing Columbian College of Arts and Science or it will have a college of its own – Steven Knapp assures that the Corcoran legacy will still remain under the wings of George Washington University.
Corcoran College is an arts and design school founded in 1891 that hosts some of the greatest exhibitions of arts in the world. The work of artist Mia Feuer is currently exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Arts.
George Washington University was founded in 1821 in fulfillment of George Washington’s vision of creating an institution in the country’s capital dedicated to educating the future leaders of the country. Its current president, Steven Knapp, is a former English professor at University of California, Berkeley before moving to John Hopkins University and then to George Washington University
In 2012, George Washington University faced the threat of a gunman when the United States Secret Service alerted the university officials of a suspicious looking man heading towards George Washington University from the direction of the White House. After much investigation, officials were not able to find the potential gunman inside the George Washington University campus.
Image from Flickr.