Original article: Kent State, Podiatry College Plan Merger
Kent State Newsletter
Organizations issue joint statement on partnership
By Matt Fredmonsky Email the author
November 1, 2011
A podiatry college in Independence, OH, could soon become a part of Kent State University.
The university issued a statement this morning about its merger talks with the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, a non-profit, four-year graduate level medical college.
The statement released today acknowledged that both organizations "are making significant progress in talks designed to merge OCPM into Kent State," according to the statement.
"For OCPM, a merger with a comprehensive research university is part of its strategic plan to take the medical school to the next level in teaching and research," the joint statement reads. "Kent State views a merger with the medical school as having strategic research and teaching synergies with the university’s health and science departments."
Dr. David R. Nicolanti, executive vice president of OCPM, said the podiatry college has been considering partnerships with Ohio universities for several years to improve the clinical experience of its students.
"A 40,000-student university offers some advantages a 400-student college does not," Nicolanti said.
The statement follows rumors that the university had been planning to buy the podiatry college's facilities in Independence, which are about 30 miles from the main campus in Kent and about 20 miles from the Twinsburg campus.
OCPM graduates about 110 students annually with a doctorate of podiatric medicine. Founded in 1916, it has graduated about 5,000 total students.
There is no schedule for completing the merger, but "both organizations are highly motivated to quickly complete the necessary due diligence that would bring a full proposal to their boards for final approval," according to the statement released Tuesday.
Nicolanti said a merger with Kent State isn't absolute, but they are getting closer to having something definitive to present to both school's trustee boards for a decision.
He said the most likely option is a merger that would make students at OCPM officially Kent State students.
"It would probably become a regional campus," Nicolanti said. "The name I’m sure would change to something like the Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. Kent doesn’t have a medical school at this point in time ... We’re excited about the possibility of doing something bigger with them."