Roosevelt University has submitted an application to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to make Robert Morris University Illinois a part of Roosevelt. The resulting university would continue to be named Roosevelt University. Roosevelt is planning to create a new college within the University, the Robert Morris Experiential College, in which many of the current Robert Morris Programs would reside.
Executive leadership teams at Roosevelt and Robert Morris understand this announcement presents many immediate questions. We anticipate many more will surface in the months to follow.
Below is an FAQ that will serve as a tool to help people find answers to anticipated questions that may be raised around Roosevelt’s application to integrate Robert Morris University Illinois into Roosevelt.
- What are you announcing? Roosevelt University has applied with the Higher Learning Committee (HLC) to integrate Robert Morris University Illinois into Roosevelt.
- What would be the name of the integrated institutions? Roosevelt University. That said, both institutions have been working very closely together for a while to ensure that the integration is the best of both schools. Roosevelt would create a new college—The Robert Morris Experiential College—where many of Robert Morris current programs will reside.
- What program would be part of the Robert Morris Experiential College? Primarily the Robert Morris programs that don’t exist at Roosevelt such as nursing and other allied health and culinary programs. This integration of Robert Morris to Roosevelt would allow for us to dramatically expand the Schaumburg campus, where Roosevelt’s Pharmacy College is, and have additional offerings at our Chicago campus and in our online format.
- Why is Roosevelt University applying to integrate Robert Morris into Roosevelt? If approved, this partnership would create opportunities to preserve and advance both missions, while creating opportunities for growth under one umbrella. Roosevelt and Robert Morris are similar and complementary in many ways that would make them a successful combined university. The resulting university would become academically and financially stronger for the next several decades. Most importantly, it would expand opportunities for all of students, and further focus on their careers. Both universities are rooted in their inclusiveness, welcoming first-generation students and minorities.
- Why is Robert Morris planning to sell its programs and assets to Roosevelt? Just as Roosevelt has been actively looking for a partner as part of its Building a Stronger Roosevelt initiative, Robert Morris has also been looking for partners to strengthen it. The inclusive, yet distinct missions are complementary, focusing on social equity and social justice. If the proposed transaction is approved, Robert Morris students would have an opportunity to benefit from the robust liberal arts and graduate school programs at Roosevelt; Roosevelt students would benefit from increased healthcare and extracurricular opportunities. The combined efficiencies would enable immediate implementation of best practices and programmatic expansion, allowing focus for responding even better to the Chicagoland community’s needs for the next several decades.
- How are Roosevelt’s mission and programs a good fit with those of Robert Morris? Together, both universities would build on their historic missions that honor diversity, inclusion and access to education. Roosevelt seeks and serves a diverse student body because it values differences in experiences and perspectives, and uses those differences to promote mutual understanding, inclusion, and action toward social justice. Robert Morris shares similar core values of committed leadership, service to the community, and creating opportunities through experiential learning. It offers professional, career-focused education to diverse communities. Its mission is consistently at the root of its academic delivery methods and supports positive student outcomes.
- When will you hear from the HLC regarding the approval of the application? We anticipate early Spring 2020. Before we consummate the proposed transaction, we will also need approval from other entities, as well as from both universities’ respective governing boards.
- Where would Robert Morris students take their classes? Robert Morris and Roosevelt students would continue taking classes as they normally would. After the approval, we know that all current programs will be offered at either the Schaumburg Campus, the Chicago campus, or any number of Robert Morris’ current locations. Both universities would be working with faculty and staff to transition current students and new students for Fall 2020. We would want to ensure that the transition for current and prospective Robert Morris students is as smooth as possible.
- Do you anticipate any issues with the application? No.
- How will the Roosevelt and Robert Morris communities receive information during the application period? Roosevelt and Robert Morris will be communicating on an ongoing basis in the lead up to the HLC approval and, if approved, through the transition process with all stakeholders, keeping them informed, as well as getting their input. There are task forces being formed that will include faculty, staff and students. There will be town halls, forums, in-person meetings, digital communication (email, website, social), general email, and the intranet site to discuss questions/concerns and to utilize all of the university’s current communication channels. Our goals are to keep our community informed and to be able to answer their questions.
- Why are you announcing this prior to HLC approval? The Higher Learning Commission—the regional accreditor for both Roosevelt and Robert Morris universities—sets a specific timetable around the application process. The Commission makes recommendations to institutions about communications regarding potential mergers and acquisitions that are being followed by Roosevelt and Robert Morris universities. The key driver behind announcing the intent of this integration on October 2 is to provide time for Roosevelt and Robert Morris community members to be a part of the integration planning process and to be active participants in setting the trajectory for the integrated institution’s future success.
- What is the goal of this acquisition? To make Roosevelt University academically and financially stronger and more successful for the next several decades and longer.
- To be recognized as a catalyst for students from all walks of life to receive transformational learning experiences that will develop them as socially conscious citizens who thrive in a diverse and changing world.
- To offer top-tier programs in allied health, business, arts and sciences, and performing arts.
- Attract top faculty and staff known in their respective fields.
- To be the most inclusive university in Illinois.
- Would the Robert Morris students have the same requirements as Roosevelt students under their respective degree programs? Currently enrolled Robert Morris students would be able to continue in their existing programs with the current requirements. They would also have the option to move into a Roosevelt degree program if it better fits their needs. Of course, year-to-year curriculums can change in programs, but time to degree should not change for these students. Every student would be counseled into the degree program and pathway they desire, either by degree or time to completion.
- Would Robert Morris students have to take extra classes if they were not offered at Robert Morris? No. Students would not experience any delay in their academic plan to degree completion. If Robert Morris students choose to switch into a Roosevelt degree pathway, we would work to make that pathway as smooth and quick as possible.
- Which campus would Robert Morris programs be offered? We know that all current programs would be offered at either Roosevelt's Schaumburg Campus or Chicago campus, or any number of Robert Morris' current locations. We are currently working on the detailed plans and we would be working with all students and faculty during the transition around academic programs.
- How would student services be maintained? Ensuring effective student services are maintained is a key priority. Robert Morris and Roosevelt both implement an intrusive advising model and have a strategic plan in place to work closely together during the integration.
- Would this acquisition impact faculty teaching, research, and service? The focus of Robert Morris faculty would remain as leaders in the classroom, using cutting edge instructional and experiential methods. Robert Morris faculty are non-tenured, practitioner faculty whose professional development focuses on advancements in teaching and learning. They are especially committed to experiential education, and these methods inform instructional approaches as well as course and program design.
- Which Faculty Handbook would be used? If the transaction is approved, Robert Morris will become part of Roosevelt University. A taskforce of Roosevelt and Robert Morris faculty would take the time this year to determine how the Robert Morris faculty can be integrated into the Roosevelt Handbook.
- Would the policies and procedures of the Robert Morris faculty remain? If the transaction is approved, Robert Morris will become part of Roosevelt. Policies between both institutions are being reviewed at this time to determine what is best for the future.
- Will Roosevelt be offering any new courses as a result of the acquisition? The integration of the current Robert Morris academic offerings into Roosevelt’s catalog would provide the opportunity for the development of new courses and programs. This would be part of our collaborative discussions in the lead up to the HLC approval and during the transition process.
- Does Robert Morris have a clerical union? How will their employees be integrated with ours? Robert Morris does not have a clerical union, but does have employees who do work that would be considered clerical work at Roosevelt. If those employees join Roosevelt, they will be subject to our clerical union’s collective bargaining agreement and go through the appropriate process to apply for and be placed in an open position.
- Does Robert Morris have an adjunct union? How will their adjuncts be integrated with ours? Robert Morris' part-time faculty are not unionized. Should Roosevelt decide to engage as adjuncts faculty members who were part-time faculty at Robert Morris, they will be subject to the RAFO collective bargaining agreement and go through the appropriate process to apply for and be placed in an open position. We expect that this topic will arise in and be addressed during our Spring 2020 bargaining sessions.
- I am in a union at Roosevelt now. Will I lose seniority if an employee from Robert Morris joins Roosevelt and they have worked at Robert Morris longer than I have worked at Roosevelt? Robert Morris does not have any unions and each of our collective bargaining agreements is between the union and Roosevelt. Thus, no Robert Morris employee has been subject to one of Roosevelt’s collective bargaining agreements with a union, and therefore, would not enter the bargaining unit with their Robert Morris seniority. As a result, we do not anticipate that you will lose seniority as a result of the proposed integration.
- Would the curriculum change while I am enrolled? No. At any university, curriculum may change from year to year, but time to degree should not change. Currently enrolled Robert Morris students can continue in their existing programs with the current requirements. They will also have the option to move into a Roosevelt degree program if it better fits their needs. Every Robert Morris student would be counseled into the degree program and pathway that is what they desire, either by degree or time to completion. We encourage them to contact their academic advisor to set up an appointment to discuss their program.
- Will it take longer to graduate if the integration is approved? No. If needed, we would work with each student individually to ensure a seamless transition.
- Will class sizes be larger if the integration is approved? No. Students can anticipate more class offerings in those sections with projected high enrollment.
- Can Robert Morris students transfer today to Roosevelt? Any student in any university has the ability to transfer as they desire. However, through the transition process, the Universities will ensure that no loss of credit or time to degree occurs. All students will receive advising to determine their best option.
- Will the acquisition impact my current institutional scholarships or other institutional grants and financial aid if the application is approved? No. You would keep your current scholarship and financial aid provided you keep to the terms of your agreement. Students should complete the FAFSA for the 2020–21 academic year if they have not done so already, and current Robert Morris students should add Roosevelt’s six-digit federal school code (001749) to their application.
- Would my degree be granted by Robert Morris or Roosevelt? Pending approval and once the integration is finalized, all Robert Morris students would be considered Roosevelt students; therefore, any degrees granted would from Roosevelt University.
- Would the new Roosevelt offer the same programs, degrees, certificates as Robert Morris? As part of the initial transition, all Robert Morris current programs and degrees will be seen through for Robert Morris current students. As with any programs at any university, decisions are made year-to-year on the viability and health of programs regarding if they should be offered moving forward. It is important to know, as always, if programs close, students would receive an individual teach-out plan so that they may complete their degree and certificate plans.
- Is there room and board in Schaumburg? At this time, there is no housing in Schaumburg.
- What changes would occur for Robert Morris students currently living in Roosevelt’s Wabash building? There will be no impacts for these students. For the 2020–21 academic year information will be forthcoming related to the housing application and room reservation process.
- If I previously attended Roosevelt or Robert Morris, but did not complete my degree, am I now eligible to return? At this time, both Roosevelt's and Robert Morris' readmission policies remain the same (i.e. academic standing, probation, financial standing, degree requirements). Individuals interested in returning to their previous institution should contact the respective Office of Admission for more information.
How would the Roosevelt and Robert Morris athletic departments and their respective teams be integrated? Following approval by the HLC and the completion of the acquisition, the Roosevelt Athletic Department will integrate all of the current Robert Morris athletic program offerings into its existing portfolio. There are no plans to discontinue any athletic program offerings as part of the integration. Additional reserve and club team opportunities would be created, specifically in many of those varsity sports currently offered at both Roosevelt and Robert Morris, to ensure that current and future students have the same access to participation opportunities.
What conference will the University be associated with after the integration? Roosevelt’s NAIA athletic programs will maintain their respective national and conference affiliation as previously held prior to the integration.
Would Robert Morris athletic scholarships be honored at Roosevelt? All athletic aid, as part of a student’s current overall financial aid package, would be honored under the parameters of the scholarship when it was awarded prior to the integration.
Which sport programs are currently offered at both Roosevelt and Robert Morris? Men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country/track and field, baseball, softball, and women’s volleyball.
How many athletes are at Robert Morris and Roosevelt? Robert Morris has just under 700 student-athletes that compete in athletic sports, performing arts, and eSports. There are about 190 student-athletes at Roosevelt.
How would recruiting be affected by the transaction? Prior to approval of the application by the HLC, Roosevelt and Robert Morris will continue recruitment independently into their respective, accredited academic programs. However, a collaborative spirit would need to permeate the recruitment process for the desired outcome of the integration of the two institutions, transparent to all prospective students considering future enrollment.
What facilities would be utilized in the future for athletic events? A review of all existing athletic facilities, both owned and leased, would occur as part of the transition process by athletic department leadership, coaches, and student-athletes to determine which sites will be utilized for the 2020–21 championship season. More information will be announced in the future as decisions are made on this subject.
What decisions have been made around the coaching staff for athletics once Roosevelt and Robert Morris have been integrated? Assuming that we receive approval from our accrediting bodies and other regulators, as well as both universities’ governing boards, all current Robert Morris athletic programs, and the athletic staff members employed in service of those programs, will be welcomed into the Roosevelt University Athletic Department. In the 11 sport offerings (men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, softball, women’s volleyball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s track and field, women’s track and field) currently supported at both institutions, we have devised a proposed leadership structure to take place as part of the integration. Roosevelt’s current head coaches in all sport programs will remain in those roles in the new organizational structure, with the exception of track and field. In this instance the current Roosevelt and Robert Morris Head Cross County and Track and Field coaches will divide responsibility, with Roosevelt’s head coach taking the lead in cross country and Robert Morris’ head coach guiding the track and field program. Robert Morris’ current head and assistant coaches in the other duplicated sports will remain integral parts of the athletic department, and in most cases their respective athletic teams, as they work in a collaborative environment as part of a more robust coaching staff focused on providing elite level coaching and mentorship at all participation levels for student-athletes.
How did you come to these decisions? Why now? The University prioritized the identification of a leadership structure for the athletic department and in the duplicative sport programs to provide clarity to current and prospective students on this topic, while concurrently giving guidance to the respective coaching staffs to allow them and the related University task forces time to craft an integration plan for their programs and student-athletes. With a resolution to this question, it also allows for the institutions' athletic programs to keep primary focus on their independent goals for the 2019-20 championship season without this point lingering, unanswered, in the background.
Why weren't students, faculty and staff consulted about this decision through one of the integration's task forces? The Building a Stronger University Task Forces are providing students, faculty, and other employees the opportunity to be a key part of the integration process. These task forces, though, will not focus on specific departmental staff roles and assignments, which was the target of this first athletic integration announcement.
Have decisions regarding rosters for the 2020 season been made? The rosters for the 2020-21 season have not been determined. The process for establishing these rosters in the duplicative programs, specifically, will be a part of a broader integration plan crafted by the collective coaching staff of each sport program, working in collaboration with the related task forces and athletic department leadership. No process would be implemented, or final roster determinations made, until after the conclusion of that sport’s 2019–20 championship season. For those programs currently offered only at Roosevelt or Robert Morris, there would be no immediate change to the roster determination process as part of the integration.
- When will the Higher Learning Commission decide? We anticipate early 2020.
- How would the transaction impact enrollment? Our immediate goal is to retain 100 percent of students. We are confident this will happen once students realize the expanded opportunities this partnership brings to them.
- Would tuition and room and board be the same? Both institutions have posted rates for 2020. Prior to approval, posted rates will be honored. We will communicate any information around this once the application is approved in Spring 2020.
- Does this impact my degree I earned from Roosevelt? Only in positive ways. As RMU strives towards Building a Stronger Roosevelt, there would be increased opportunities for our alumni to become involved, as we would now increase our alumni base by approximately 40,000 new connections. Please continue to stay connected and visit roosevelt.edu/alumni for updates on alumni news, events, and to submit your information.
- Would more alumni groups be formed? We recently announced a new interim VP of advancement and she is working with the department to expand outreach and programs to engage our alumni base. We anticipate more groups forming as we continue to Build A Stronger Roosevelt.
- I recently gave money to Roosevelt, where will donations/gifts go? Thank you for your support! It depends on the type of gift you gave, but our donations and gifts go toward scholarships, student services, and infrastructure. We are hoping our alumni and donors will continue their support towards our expanding student body, academic programs, services, athletics, and campuses.
- Would Ali still be the President of Roosevelt? Yes! Roosevelt is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and he is extremely excited for Roosevelt’s next 75. This integration will allow Roosevelt to become academically and financially stronger for the next several decades. It would create expanded opportunities for all students academically and for the college experience.
- Does this impact my degree I earned from Robert Morris? This would only strengthen your degree and your alumni network, by increasing the number of alumni you can now connect and network with. The Roosevelt University name carries national recognition, named after President Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
- I just graduated, should I say I graduated from Robert Morris or Roosevelt? Until the Higher Learning Commissions approves the formal integration, and the agreement closes in the Spring 2020, you are technically a Robert Morris University graduate. That said, once RMU integrates into Roosevelt, you can be proud to say you are either a RMU or Roosevelt graduate.
- Do I need to update my resume with Roosevelt? Only if you choose to do so. Students who begin in the Fall 2020 will formally be attending Roosevelt University. Prior to that, RMU students have the ability to choose whichever university they’d like to use on their resume. One recommendation is to state, RMU, now a college under Roosevelt University.
- I am donor, where will my gift go after the integration? After the integration is final, all gifts given will be gifts given to Roosevelt University.
- Would I be considered Roosevelt alumni now? You would be considered an alum of either Robert Morris or Roosevelt. You would be invited to attend Roosevelt alumni events as we integrate RMU alumni into Roosevelt alumni affairs.
- I was planning on giving money, what do I do now? We hope you still plan on your generous donation—our students can still benefit from your support.