Trevecca Nazarene University reached a deal Friday that set the stage for a possible merger with a sister institution outside of Boston.
Under the deal with Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass., Trevecca President Dan Boone will lead both institutions while administrators mull the mechanics of a complete merger for up to three years. The goal is to cut costs by consolidating backroom functions such as financial aid processing.
“There’s a lot of cost in the back office of higher ed,” said David Caldwell, Trevecca's executive vice president for finance and administration, who also will take on the duties of chief financial officer at Eastern starting Monday. “We’ve found ways to save money and to work together.”
In an interview shortly before the deal was approved by the board at Eastern, Caldwell said officials at both colleges had been considering some sort of collaboration for years now. It is normal for the eight Nazarene-affiliated colleges to team up to help one another, he said, although this would mark their most inventive plan to date.
Eastern is the smallest of the Nazarene-affiliated colleges, and recently announced plans to shutter three academic programs and lay off some professors. Trevecca, on the other hand, is in the midst of a boom period.