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Henderson State Announces Merger with Arkansas State University

The mounting financial burden has forced Henderson State University (HSU) to merge with the Arkansas State University System.

Last week, HSU Board of Trustees voted unanimously to seek a merger, and the agreement will now be prepared and reviewed by both the institutions.

Even after the merger, HSU will still continue with its name and use of the Reddie mascot, and slogan, “The School with a Heart.”

“I am really pleased that Henderson will maintain its name, unique traditions and history as we serve the next generation of Reddies,” Acing president Elaine Kneebone said.

“Your desire to retain our name and our unique heritage came through loud and clear in recent weeks at forums, in person, and on social media. Our traditions matter. We are Henderson. We are Reddies. We are The School with a Heart.”

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette report, HSU has long been facing financial troubles and witnessing a decline in student enrollment. Last fiscal year, the school had a deficit of $4.9 million. This year the school administrators cut more than $3 million from its operating budget by lowering the pay of hundreds of its faculty and staff members.

The merger deal is now subject to the approval of ASU Board of Trustees and the Higher Learning Commission, as well as action by the Arkansas General Assembly.

Lately, many colleges and universities across the nation have either closed or are currently on the verge of closure due to a steep decline in enrollments and weak finances. Last month, Midstate College announced its closure due to declining enrollment over the years while Marlboro College is considering a merger.

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