Elected officials in New Hampshire are formalizing a proposal to operate public universities and community colleges under a system.

The State on Tuesday launched details about a proposed Merger that would combine the New Hampshire university system with the New Hampshire Community University System under a system called New Hampshire College and University System. Governor Chris Sununu, a Republican, presented the proposal last month as part of his budget for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.

The two systems are still reviewing the newly released details, but they seem to fit into a Marco Sununu established during a state of state management and in later comments. The two boards would be consolidated in July, and the new board would be a year to plan the Merger before the budgets of the systems combine the following summer.

According to the SunUNU budget proposal, the new System of the State will be allocated in fiscal year 2022 and $ 138 million in fiscal year 2023. This fiscal year, the two systems were assigned a combined $ 143.8 million. In addition to cost savings for the State, Sununu expects a consolidated higher education system to expand opportunities for students in schools of two and four years and will improve the transfer between institutions.

The state legislature will have to approve the proposal before the Merger officially began, and will probably consider the measure in the coming months.

Currently, the university system includes four institutions that serve more than 21,500 students. The Community College system includes seven schools and serves about 26,000 students.

Both systems have been doubts about speaking long on the Merger plan until no more details were published. When the proposal was announced, the University System of the New Hampshire Trustee Board issued a statement in support, calling the idea "the best possible approach to ensure, in the long term, the capacity of the State to offer all its affordable residents , accessible, and various paths to a high quality education. "

The community college and university systems have been talked about inside and off for a time over a potential Merger, officials said of each system during a finance committee meeting last week. At first, the Board of the University System expressed its support for consolidation, but put talks about a potential fusion on one side to focus on specific issues of the system, Catherine Promeriver, head of the university system of New Hampshire, he said during the meeting .

Consolidation talks Among the members of the Community University Board have been more cautious, Susan Huard said, interim chancellor of the system. They wanted to be careful with the elaboration of a Merger plan and avoid mistakes that other States have made attempting to consolidate their institutions of higher education.

"When we look at other Mergers that have happened, the first voice that goes far is the voice of community colleges," said Huard. "So you can understand why we have a concern here."

Huard comes from Connecticut, which has been slowly consolidating its public higher education for years. The slow progress in Connecticut has colored a bit the perspective of her, she said.

But New Hampshire does not have time to study the errors and successes from other states, said Promeriver.

"Higher education is changing at a rate that we can not keep up to date, and we have to be looking forward," she said during the meeting.

Faced with declining registrations and state reduction funds, a handful states have completed or proposed the Mergers of the public system in recent years. The proposal of Sununu is similar to the consolidations of the recent public education system in Connecticut and Wisconsin. Vermont is also looking to join several of her schools. Pennsylvania offered a plan last summer.

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Merger 

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