What the relationship will be between the College of Eastern Utah and Utah State University is still up in the air and is still being studied, with results being released late this fall just in time for the Utah State legislature to meet.
The collaborative effort continues as the process is in phase two of a three-phase plan.
The 2008 legislature created House Bill Three mandating a task force be created to study greater collaboration and cooperation between CEU and USU, including consideration of partnerships, alliances, or a merger, in order to increase the educational opportunities for citizens of eastern Utah and to maximize state resources.
Phase one was conducted from July 3-31 and was titled the "issue identification." Study consultants from leadership positions at USU and CEU were named to identify the primary issues that should be examined to create a model for potential merger of the two institutions, or an enhanced partnership between USU and CEU.
Phase two is presently taking place. It started on August 11 and will continue through September 12. This phase has two possibilities. One would develop ideas for a potential merger of USU and CEU.
"It is intended that the elements of the model provide a conceptual framework for a potential merger, but not be construed or interpreted as creating a specific agreement," reported a document provided by the Utah Board of Regents.
It went on to say that in the event a merger is untenable, the teams will develop possibilities for enhancing the partnership between USU and CEU to deliver higher education programs to the students and residents of Southeast Utah.
As part of phase two, CEU representatives from finance, faculty and employees, plus students met with their counterparts at USU in Salt Lake City a couple of weeks ago to discuss the issues that could be involved in the merger, alliance or partnership.
Phase three takes place from September 15 through October 10.
Community members and employees at USU and CEU will be provided an opportunity to respond to the ideas and model developed by the study teams.
At the conclusion of phase three, the Board of Regents will receive the study report and make its recommendations to the Executive Appropriations Committee of the Utah legislature.