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Case Studies of System Consolidations in Alaska, Minnesota, & Connecticut


In February 2021, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu proposed consolidating the University System of New Hampshire with the Community College System of New Hampshire, the two systems that oversee all public higher education institutions in the state.

Topics Challenges Approach Resources


Prior to this announcement, but while the possibility of proposing a merger was under consideration, CCSNH leadership sought information about prior cases of mergers of systems of higher education, especially those involving systems of two- and four-year institutions, and contracted with NCHEMS to provide background information on the most relevant cases.


Like other states in the northeast, New Hampshire faces a converging set of challenges—a longterm decline in the number of high school graduates in the state and across the region and fiscal conditions made suddenly worse by the COVID pandemic. The demographic challenge is especially problematic in New Hampshire, a state where public colleges and universities are heavily reliant on tuition revenue to support operational costs. Tuition rates are higher in New Hampshire than in any other state in the country and only in Vermont are the institutions more reliant on tuition as a source of revenue.


In January 2021, NCHEMS produced a report detailing cases in Alaska, Minnesota, and Connecticut, including discussions of key events, lessons to be drawn from the experiences of those states, and questions leaders in New Hampshire might ask to frame their thinking about the consolidation.