To Merge or Not

In The News Piece in Inside Higher Ed
Joshua Rainey Photography /
Nov. 7, 2017

Iris Palmer was quoted in Inside Higher Ed on the factors leading to proposed mergers of public colleges and universities:

“If you’re dealing with decreasing levels of enrollment at the colleges and you’re dealing with decreased state investment, which most places are, I think simply from an educational perspective it’s probably a good reason to consolidate or eliminate particular campuses or colleges,” said Iris Palmer, a senior policy analyst with New America’s education policy program.


“The research on this shows very mixed results in saving money,” Palmer, of New America, said. “It costs a lot of money up front to combine student information systems.”

Most of the savings come from salaries or by cutting jobs, which is unpopular, she said.


“Georgia is a different political environment than, say, the Northeast,” Palmer said. “It was a huge step up in branding for Georgia Perimeter College to go to Georgia State University. They were cautiously optimistic, but they were not mourning a loss of identity.”