Rice-Baylor Merger: Yup

RICE-BAYLOR MERGER: YUP A joint statement just out from the presidents of Rice University and the Baylor College of Medicine: “We are pleased to announce that the governing boards of Rice and BCM this week approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that lays out a broad framework for formal negotiations about a possible merger of our two institutions. While no decision on a merger has yet been made and many issues remain to be resolved, our boards have concluded that a closer affiliation has abundant potential benefits for both institutions, as well as for our home city of Houston.” [Swamplot inbox]

2 Comment

  • Is this due to perceived (or concrete, as I am uncertain) financial difficulties at Baylor Med?

  • Yes and no. About four years ago, I heard David Leebron addressing a group of Rice employees about future plans for Rice. His long-term goal was to make Rice a more prominent university, and it seems to me that he basically thought Rice’s problem was that it was too small. So he spoke of expanding graduate programs as well as the undergraduate population (which is being done with the addition of two new colleges). Someone asked him about a law school or a medical school, and his answer lead me to believe that he had given very serious thought to both. But he mused out loud about the difficulties of running a medical school.

    Baylor itself made a few bad moves that have left it in a financially perilous place, even thought it retains a good reputation as a school. (Some details here: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6083117.html and here: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/side2/3048042.html).

    So given Rice’s (and especially Leebron’s) desire to grow, Baylor’s need for a white knight, their fantastic proximity, and the excellent academic reputations of both schools, it seems pretty logical that these negotiations would occur.