It took seconds for Gov. Bob Taft to make the UT-MUO merger a reality, but leaders say the effects of combining the two institutions should be beneficial for years to come.
“Toledo has been fortunate to be home to two world-class institutions of higher learning and research,” Taft said. “As they join forces today, this region will benefit from an even more powerful leader for student learning …”
Taft signed House Bill 478 that combines the two institutions in a March 31 ceremony in Doermann Theater. More than 400 people were on hand for the historic moment.
The merger will be effective July 1. It will make the new UT the third largest university in the state in terms of operating budget and one of 17 public universities in the country that has colleges of business, education, engineering, law, medicine and pharmacy.
“This is a historic combination, for this is the first merger of two public educational institutions in Ohio,” said James Tuschman, a member of the Ohio Board of Regents and former chair of the UT board of trustees. “Together these two institutions will increase substantially the return of Ohio higher education investment.”
UT President Dan Johnson said, “For our students and all those we serve, I take great pride in saying that you are the reason we are here today. This ceremony is about your future. It is also about the future of this very special University, the future of our wonderful city of Toledo, and the future of our great state of Ohio.”
“Our success, indeed our survival, is inextricably linked to the city, the region and the state,” said Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, MUO president who will become president of the combined institution.
“Our mission is to improve the human condition,” Jacobs said. “Our mantra will be ‘dedicated to excellence.’”
The merger will create an institution with:
• An enrollment of 23,000 students;
• Research funding approaching $60 million;
• A work force of more than 7,000;
• An economic impact in northwest Ohio of more than $700 million; and
• More than 100,000 alumni.
To watch the ceremony, go to http://video.utoledo.edu