Historic higher ed merger culmination of more than a year of hard work

The College of Eastern Utah is now officially part of the Utah State University system following passage of Senate Bill 69 by the Utah State Legislature on Thursday. Pending the governor’s signature, passage of the bill marks the first higher education merger between two long-standing institutions in the state’s history. USU Vice President for Advancement and Development Ross Peterson says USU was asked by the Board of Regents, and ultimately the Utah Legislature, to help develop a plan that would bring a greater degree of visibility and success to CEU. “I think the demographics of the state and of that region had made it very difficult for them to sustain growth,” Peterson says. “I think the great success that Utah State has had is being a statewide campus with its regional campuses. “With the philosophy of a land grant school, it made it something people wanted us to consider and asked us to consider.” Peterson says officials from both USU and CEU have worked very hard over the last year to come up with a plan which will have great potential for the people of southeastern Utah. CEU currently has about 2,000 students, down from 3,000 in 2001. CEU will be led by a chancellor, who will report directly to USU’s president. But both schools will retain separate athletic programs, school colors and mascots. USU President Stan Albrecht says the union expands higher education opportunities for Utah’s students.

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