Eastern Nazarene College and Trevecca Nazarene University announced Friday that they will move forward with a collaborative partnership, with Dan Boone serving as the president of both schools, following affirmative votes by each institution’s board of trustees.
Trevecca and ENC announced they were exploring the possibility of a partnership last month in a joint release to NCN News. Trevecca’s board voted last week to approve a Memorandum of Understanding that begins a formal three-year exploration of merger between the two institutions. ENC’s board unanimously approved the proposal Friday.
Under the terms of the agreement, Boone will serve as president of both institutions. Effective immediately, he will become president-elect of ENC, succeeding Corlis McGee, who is stepping down at the end of the academic year after 12 years as ENC president. On 1 September, he will be formally installed as ENC’s 14th president.
“We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Boone to the ENC community,” said Russell Long, chairman of the ENC Board of Trustees. “We are confident that this new partnership with Trevecca will strengthen both institutions’ shared mission of providing a Christian liberal arts education centered on service and leadership.”
During meetings last week, Trevecca’s board voted unanimously to renew Boone’s contract for a four-year term. Trevecca’s 11th president, Boone has served the university since 2005.
Boone will work with a group of ENC and TNU administrators and trustees to fully engage this exploration. He was on ENC’s Quincy campus Friday to meet with faculty, staff and students following the ENC board’s vote.
“Today is a historic day that marks a new partnership between two great Christian educational institutions," he said on Friday. "I am humbled by the challenge of serving as the president of both. In a changing world, it is our duty to find ways to meet the needs of students seeking the formative influence of Christian higher education. This collaboration will allow both Trevecca and ENC to do that for years to come. ”
As the president of both institutions, Boone will provide leadership and oversight for both Trevecca and ENC. Both will retain separate boards of governance and continue to operate as independent institutions under their respective accrediting bodies. It is the intent of the exploration process to maintain the name and identity of Eastern Nazarene College.
Boone said he is excited to be a part of the historic partnership and optimistic about the future.
“In the wake of this news regarding our partnership with ENC, I am excited about the future of Trevecca,” he said. “As an institution experiencing historic growth and financial stability, we are delighted to explore a new model of Christian higher education in partnership with ENC.”
Officials from both universities believe the process, when fully implemented, will result in learning and co-curricular opportunities for students on both campuses, as well as increased operational cost efficiencies, shared program resources, and expanded impact. Both institutions expect to use technology to expand course offerings, with students and faculty participating in classes and academic exchanges.
This exploration of merger comes at a time when Trevecca is experiencing dramatic growth. Founded in 1901, the 116-year-old university is the fastest growing university in Middle Tennessee, adding 581 students to total enrollment in the last year for a total enrollment of 3,221. Trevecca’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies achieved a 47 percent year-over-year increase in adult studies and graduate students from fall 2015 to fall 2016. With students from 43 states and 16 countries, Trevecca offers 15 associate degrees, 84 undergraduate majors, 19 master’s programs, and two doctoral programs, as well as specialist and certificate programs.
ENC, with students from 34 states and 12 countries, is widely recognized as one of the most diverse and multicultural Christian colleges in the country. Its highly respected faculty, low student-to-faculty ratio, strong community partnerships, and close proximity to Boston afford ENC students unparalleled opportunities for academic and cultural enrichment, valuable fellowships and internships, and opportunities to live out their faith through meaningful service and mission work.