Roosevelt University applied with the Higher Learning Committee (HLC), its primary accreditor, in Fall 2019 to integrate Robert Morris University Illinois into Roosevelt.
HLC notified Roosevelt and Robert Morris that it has approved the application. The University has also followed the appropriate processes with several other regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Following these approvals, the universities’ boards of trustees approved the integrated University. The transaction closed on March 9, 2020.
Below is an FAQ that will serve as a tool to help people find answers to anticipated questions that may be raised around Robert Morris University becoming part of Roosevelt.
- What is the leadership team for the integrated University? Roosevelt University’s leadership team remains the same as it did before the integration, except that Robert Morris’ former president, Mablene Krueger, now joins the team as the chief operating officer of the Schaumburg Campus.
- Who is on the Board of Trustees? Roosevelt University’s Board of Trustees remains the same as it did before the integration.
- What happened to the Robert Morris Board? Robert Morris’ Board will dissolve, in due course, as the affairs of that entity wind down.
- How many Robert Morris employees were offered jobs at Roosevelt? An overwhelming majority of them made a decision to be part of the expanded Roosevelt.
- How does the integration impact industry rankings? We aren’t concerned about that. We are in a unique niche due to our expanded academic portfolio offering and partnerships.
- Will Roosevelt implement a re-branding?No, Roosevelt will not be implementing a visual re-branding. Existing graphical elements, logos and visual identity will remain the same. Roosevelt will, however, be working on new brand positioning and messaging that will work to incorporate Robert Morris Illinois’ rich history, values and mission.
- What is the name of the integrated institution? The integrated institution will continue under the Roosevelt University name. 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 programs are part of the Robert Morris Experiential College?
This integration of Robert Morris to Roosevelt allows for us to dramatically expand the Schaumburg Campus, where Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy is, and have additional offerings at our Chicago Campus and in our online format.Primarily the Robert Morris programs that don’t exist at Roosevelt such as nursing and other allied health and culinary programs.
- Why did Roosevelt University apply to integrate Robert Morris into Roosevelt? This partnership creates 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 makes them a successful combined university. The resulting university will be academically and financially stronger for the next several decades. Most importantly, it expands 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 did Robert Morris 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. Robert Morris students will have an opportunity to benefit from the robust liberal arts and graduate school programs at Roosevelt; Roosevelt students benefit from increased healthcare and extracurricular opportunities. The combined efficiencies 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 will 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.
- Where will Robert Morris students take their classes?
Both universities have been 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.All current programs will be offered at either the Schaumburg Campus, the Chicago Campus, any number of Robert Morris’ current locations or online. Many of the classroom changes have already occurred.
- How will the Roosevelt and Robert Morris communities receive information during the integration? Roosevelt and Robert Morris will continue to be communicating on an ongoing basis. There is a dedicated website, Building a Stronger University, and weekly newsletter. There will be town halls, forums, in-person meetings, digital communication (email, website, social) and general email. Our goals are to keep our community informed during the transition period and ongoing integration.
- 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.
- When will I get a new faculty/staff ID? Faculty and staff who have accepted positions will need to meet with Roosevelt HR to have their picture ID created. Roosevelt will send them information about scheduled meeting times.
- When will I be issued a Roosevelt email?Once an employee accepts their job offer, their data will be loaded to the Roosevelt system and automatically generate an email. The Roosevelt email address will be sent to their Robert Morris email address.
- Were or will there be any layoffs either at Robert Morris or Roosevelt as a result of the approved integration? Both universities worked collaboratively in determining needs for the future, as they do every year, and now, as an integrated university. This involved identifying job functions that would no longer exist, unfortunately.
- Will Robert Morris students have the same requirements as Roosevelt students under their respective degree programs? Currently enrolled Robert Morris students are able to continue in their existing programs with the current requirements. They 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 will be counseled into the degree program and pathway they desire, either by degree or time to completion.
- Do Robert Morris students have to take extra classes if they were not offered at Robert Morris? 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 will Robert Morris programs be offered at? All campuses and online depending on students’ degrees, class requirements and choices made by individual students. The new Roosevelt will be offering expanded choices and opportunities for students to choose from.
- How will student services be maintained during the transition? 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 transition and long-term integration.
- Which Faculty Handbook is going to be used? Roosevelt University’s Faculty Handbook will continue to be used for the University.
- Do the policies and procedures of the Robert Morris faculty remain? The integrated Roosevelt University will continue to use Roosevelt University policies and procedures. Robert Morris employees joining Roosevelt University will want to become familiar with the Roosevelt University policies and procedures. Roosevelt HR will review them with new employees during orientation sessions to be held the week of March 9.
- Will Roosevelt be offering any new courses as a result of the acquisition? Yes, all courses related to the new degrees formerly offered by RMUI and not being taught out. The integration of the current Robert Morris academic offerings into Roosevelt’s catalog provide the opportunity for the development of new courses and programs. There have been collaborative discussions leading up to the approval and will continue during the transition process.
- 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.
- Can I keep my Robert Morris University benefits after the acquisition is complete? All Robert Morris benefits will be terminated. Robert Morris employees hired by Roosevelt University will start as a new employee and be offered Roosevelt University benefits beginning the first of the month following their start date.
- Where can I learn about Roosevelt University benefits? Roosevelt’s Benefits Portal has information on Roosevelt University’s health and wellness as well as retirement benefits. The Benefits Guide on the portal provides health, dental, vision, basic life and AD&D benefit premiums. View the benefits portal.
- If I am already enrolled in COBRA or will terminate employment at Robert Morris and not take a job at Roosevelt, how will I elect COBRA? Robert Morris will send Roosevelt information about Robert Morris employees who need to continue or to elect COBRA under the Roosevelt University benefit plans. Roosevelt’s COBRA administrator, BRI, will send them information about the Roosevelt benefits that will be offered for continued coverage under COBRA. COBRA and plan information is available on the benefits portal.
- When will I be issued a Roosevelt student ID? RMU students have been able to obtain a Roosevelt ID since February 20th. If you have yet to receive your RU ID, you can immediately go to the Registrar’s office on 1M on the Chicago Campus or the One Stop at Schaumburg to have your ID photo taken.
- I am a senior, where will graduation take place? This year’s graduation plans to take place at Arlington Heights, but all future graduations will take place in Roosevelt’s Auditorium Theatre, located on the Chicago Campus. For RMU seniors who did not graduate on February 29th, in Arlington Heights, you will graduate during Roosevelt’s May Commencement ceremony in the Auditorium Theatre.
- Will Roosevelt offer the same student clubs/organizations? Yes. Every student organization that was offered at RMU will be offered at RU. In addition, RMU students will now have access to the more than 50 student organizations currently active at Roosevelt.
- Will there be an orientation for Robert Morris students? A new student onboarding was offered for RMU students on February 28th. The next orientation will be for incoming first-year students in August.
- I’m a Robert Morris student. When can I start participating in Roosevelt’s student affairs programs? Immediately. All Robert Morris students can participate in any student organization or club that is present on campus. In addition, now that we are integrated, RMU students will begin to receive weekly newsletters highlighting all of the events that are happening on campus for that week. Look out for your first edition of RULAKERLIFE coming this week.
- Will 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 have the option to move into a Roosevelt degree program if it better fits their needs. Every Robert Morris student has been 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.
- Is it going to take longer take longer to graduate as a result of the integration? No. If needed, we would work with each student individually to ensure a seamless transition. If a student switches into another major, they will have to take those course requirements and any needed prerequisites.
- Will class sizes be larger as a result of the integration? Students can anticipate more class offerings in those sections with projected high enrollment.
- Does the acquisition impact my current institutional scholarships or other institutional grants and financial aid? No. You will 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.
- Will my 2020 degree be granted by Robert Morris or Roosevelt? All Robert Morris students are considered Roosevelt students; therefore, any degrees granted would from Roosevelt University.
- Will the new Roosevelt offer the same programs, degrees and 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. By Fall 2020, we will all move to 16-week semesters. Within those semesters, a student can take either an 8- or 16-week course, which will count for 1.5 or 3 credit hours. RMUI will work now to be able to synch up their courses between now and Fall 2020 to align with this. Get more information on The Robert Morris Experiential College and its programs.
- Is there room and board in Schaumburg?At this time, there is no housing in Schaumburg.
- What changes will occur for Robert Morris students currently living in Roosevelt’s Wabash building? The 2020–21 academic year information was sent to all students 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? 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? The Roosevelt Athletic Department will integrate all of the current Robert Morris athletic program offerings into its existing portfolio at the conclusion of their respective 2019-20 championship seasons. There are no plans to discontinue any athletic program offerings as a result of the integration. Additional reserve and club team opportunities will be created, specifically in many of those varsity sports 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, is being 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? Upon finalization of the transaction all prospective students will utilize the Roosevelt application for admission. The application will allow students to choose from an expanded list of academic majors with the addition of the Robert Morris Experiential College. Prospective student-athletes can select from the broadened lineup of athletic opportunities to identify their area of participation interest. Existing completed Robert Morris applicants and admits for future terms will not need to reapply for admission and will receive communication from the Roosevelt Office of Admission moving forward related to next steps for enrollment.
What facilities would be utilized in the future for athletic events? A review of all existing athletic facilities, both owned and leased, is happening 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? 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) supported at both institutions, Roosevelt’s head coaches in all sport programs will remain in those roles, 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’ 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 as part of a more robust coaching staff focused on providing elite level coaching and mentorship at all participation levels for student-athletes. Robert Morris athletic programs that are in-season at the time of transaction will continue to participate under the Robert Morris name, and its existing leadership structure, until the conclusion of its 2019-20 championship season.
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.
- What is the goal for enrollment? Our goal is to optimize enrollment around our immediate broader portfolio of academic opportunities while creating new pathways to have the higher education needs of today’s students met at Roosevelt. We look forward to our combined efforts leading to enrollment growing to over 6,000 students between our Chicago, Schaumburg, Lake County and Peoria campuses in the near future.
- Are tuition and room and board costs the same? Both institutions have posted rates for 2020. We will communicate any changes this Spring.
- How much did the transaction cost Roosevelt upon closing? This is a private purchase deal done by a private university, so we are not releasing that number, but we are confident it will be a good return on our investment.
- Does this impact my degree I earned from Roosevelt? Only in positive ways. As Robert Morris 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's alumni site for updates on alumni news, events, and to submit your information.
- Are more alumni groups being formed?The interim VP of advancement 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 University.
- 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.
- Is Ali still 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 expands opportunities for all students academically and for the college experience.
- Does this impact the degree I earned from Robert Morris?This only strengthens 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?You can be proud to say you are either a Robert Morris 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 a donor, where will my gift go after the integration? All gifts given will be gifts given to Roosevelt University.
- Would I be considered Roosevelt alumni now? You are considered an alum of either Robert Morris or Roosevelt. You will be invited to attend Roosevelt alumni events as we integrate Robert Morris 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.
Upon approval of the integration, Robert Morris will no longer be a degree-granting university with faculty, staff and students. As such, on February 20, 2020, Robert Morris notified its employees that they will no longer be employed by Robert Morris after the integration. Robert Morris employees received from Roosevelt University either an offer to hold a specific position or an invitation to apply for open positions at Roosevelt.
1. How did you come to these decisions? As we do every year, we assess the employee base based on budgets, enrollment and needs of the students and university, to create ongoing efficiencies in order to invest in the delivery of education and the on-campus experience. Roosevelt and Robert Morris worked collaboratively in determining these needs for the future integrated university, including identifying job functions that would no longer exist.
2. When will the impacted employees be terminated? Employment will end on March 9, 2020.
3. I thought President Malekzadeh said all Robert Morris would be retained. President Malekzadeh indicated that Roosevelt would strive to extend an offer to every employee who was employed by Robert Morris by the closing date. Roosevelt and Robert Morris worked collaboratively in determining these needs for the future integrated university, including identifying job functions that would no longer exist.
4. Why are you doing this before the integration is approved/closed? Robert Morris has been making several changes to coincide with the end of one instructional quarter and the start of another, as part the assessment around the needs of the University. The goal of the timing was to allow for as little disruption among students, faculty and staff and in the delivery of education as possible.
5. Does the integrated university anticipate more work force reduction his year? Roosevelt will always evaluate its employment needs based on a number of factors, including enrollment, student needs, the University’s expenses, and the University’s budget. In considering those factors, Roosevelt will always ensure that its operations are the right size to meet its needs.
6. I thought the integration would create growth and more opportunities for both employees and students? It will. We are in early stages of the integration and are optimistic our growth will continue. We have to make difficult decisions on an annual basis based on a number of factors, but as an integrated university, we will build off of our strengths, create synergies, new programs and opportunities. We will continue to look at all areas of the university for efficiencies, including systems, real estate and operations. Growth is the priority.
7. How are employees paid at Roosevelt? Pay dates depend on the type of employee.
• Faculty are paid on the 14th of each month.
• Full-time exempt administrative employees work 37-1/2 hours a week and are paid on the last day of the month.
• Full-time non-exempt administrative employees work 37-1/2 hours a week and are paid every two weeks. The first pay date after the consummation of the transaction is March 26.
• Clerical employees work 37-1/2 hours a week and are paid every two weeks.
• Operations employees work 40 hours a week and are paid every two weeks.
8. What are the employee benefit offerings at Roosevelt University? Information about most of Roosevelt’s benefits is available online at http://rooseveltu.touchpointsonline.com/
9. What are the paid holidays at Roosevelt? Information about holidays is available online at http://rooseveltu.touchpointsonline.com
10. When will I learn more about Roosevelt’s benefits and be able to enroll? Roosevelt will hold a benefits information session the first week of March and new hire orientation sessions the week of March 9. Also see http://rooseveltu.touchpointsonline.com/
11. If my job terminates and I don’t have a role, what happens to my employee benefits? All RMU employees do have their RMU-provided health benefits through March 31st. FSA ends when employment ends on March 9th and is not COBRA eligible. Terminated employees will receive information from Roosevelt’s COBRA vendor, BRI, regarding the continuation of COBRA-eligible plans (i.e., medical, dental, and vision) Information about Roosevelt’s benefits is available online at http://rooseveltu.touchpointsonline.com