© Thunderbird School of Management
Arizona State University (ASU) officials have announced that they reach a preliminary agreement to merge with Thunderbird School of Global Management under a letter of intent.
The Glendale private, non-profit college would be called the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University and will act as a separate entity of ASU.
"This is a big moment in Thunderbird's history, and we are excited by the significant opportunity it represents to join with one of the world's most innovative universities," according to Larry Penley, president of Thunderbird and dean of ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business from 1985 to 2003. "Both institutions share compatible missions and a strong commitment to global impact, which can energize us both."
Thunderbird struggles with debt and financial issues. A previous agreement in March to create a venture with Laureate Education, a for-profit educational company, failed to receive accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
ASU is conducting due-diligence on Glendale business school toward a final agreement by the end of July. The merger could involve job cuts at Thunderbird.
"This merger offers significant advantages to both institutions," said ASU President Michael M. Crow. "Through the integration of Thunderbird with ASU, the Thunderbird historic global education vision will be sustained and extended, students at ASU and Thunderbird will have access to more courses and programs, ASU's executive education programs can be broadened and expanded, and financial efficiencies will be created."