The six Catholic colleges in Iowa have formed the Iowa Catholic Collegiate Association to collaborate and identify innovative strategies to collectively respond to the dynamic higher education environment which exists today.
Presidents of Mercy College of Health Sciences, Des Moines; Briar Cliff University, Sioux City; Clarke University, Dubuque; Loras College, Dubuque; Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids; St. Ambrose University, Davenport share a common vision and steadfast commitment to the sustainability and enhancement of Catholic Higher Education in Iowa, according to the statement of purpose created by the group.
“By working together we can provide an even more engaged and enriched learning environment for our students,” Barbara Decker, president of Mercy College, said. “Our changing landscape necessitates institutions adopt an increased and strategic orientation toward collaborations and cooperative alliances,” Decker said. “In adopting cooperative relationships we can significantly strengthen our capacity to effectively address the opportunities and challenges ahead.”
The move comes as both public and private higher education institutions face escalating costs, changing demographics, decreased funding and public uncertainty about their value. This is particularly the case for smaller independent colleges and universities that lack the economies of scale and scope to influence and negotiate their disconcerting situations.
Together the schools will explore possible joint ventures, administrative and programmatic, to contain costs, enhance effectiveness and improve competitiveness with the goal of sustaining and enhancing Catholic higher education in Iowa.
Mercy College is the only Catholic college in central Iowa and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC). United in their Catholic identity, Iowa’s Catholic colleges and universities have a shared desire to ensure Catholic higher education continues to provide students with collegiate experiences that promote the integration of faith and reason.