Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024
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Dive Brief:

Notre Dame of Maryland University, a Roman Catholic college, plans to acquire the Maryland University of Integrative Health, which specializes in graduate-level holistic medicine.
The transaction is slated to take place early next year, pending approval from regulators and the institutions’ accreditor, according to a Thursday announcement. Notre Dame of Maryland plans to create a School of Integrative Health to absorb MUIH’s programs. 
The university expects to continue all of MUIH’s programs and keep its employees and students. It expects to bring over the graduate institution’s offerings in late 2024 or in 2025.

Dive Insight:

Notre Dame of Maryland offers advanced degrees in nursing, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies and art therapy. Following the acquisition, it will also host MUIH’s in-person acupuncture program, as well as online programs in subjects like herbal medicine, yoga therapy, and health and wellness coaching.

Demand for healthcare professionals is increasing, a trend that is expected to continue over the next decade, according to Marylou Yam, president of Notre Dame of Maryland.

“Offering programs in both traditional health sciences and integrative health is unique and will position NDMU as one of the nation’s most distinctive leaders in healthcare education,” Yam said in a statement Thursday. 

Enrollment at both universities has steadily declined in recent years, according to federal data. At MUIH, student headcounts fell from 1,238 in 2016 to 701 in 2022, a 43.4% decline. Meanwhile, Notre Dame of Maryland’s declined from 2,532 to 1,733, representing a 31.6% dip. 

The acquisition stands to quickly increase Notre Dame of Maryland’s graduate-level enrollment. In fall 2022, the university had about 1,100 students in graduate programs. 

MUIH will operate independently from Notre Dame of Maryland until late 2024 or 2025, when its programs will move to the new integrative health school, the universities said. All MUIH students will be able to complete their programs. 

The acquisition will not affect other Notre Dame of Maryland programs.

Employees at MUIH largely work remotely, a system that Notre Dame of Maryland officials will evaluate and address during the transition period, the university said. Some MUIH faculty and staff will ultimately have offices at its Baltimore campus, about 30 miles northeast from MUID’s location in Laurel, Maryland.

MUIH began looking for a merger partner in 2022. Notre Dame of Maryland was one of a few finalists considered and ultimately won out due to its similar academic offerings, shared values and needs, geographic proximity, similar student base, and size and resources, MUIH said. Both universities also have the same accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

“Bringing the respective curricula, faculty, and students together in a single institution will strengthen the commitment to care, service, and leadership that is at the core of both universities,” MUIH said in an online FAQ.

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