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Merger bill introduced

Sun Advocate publisher

Last Friday State Senator David Hinkins (R)(District 27) introduced the bill into the Utah State Senate that everyone at the College of Eastern Utah has been expecting - the one that will basically merge the 72 year old school with Utah State University.

The bill had its first reading in sub-committee last Friday in the Senate Rules Committee. Then on Monday it was sent to the the Senate Standing Committee on Education. This committee may make a recommendation concerning the bill, hold, table or substitute a bill that has been referred to it.

The bill is scheduled to have discussion on it in this committee Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m.

The introduction of the bill is the first step in ratifying what has been a two year process of ideas, study and finally resolution by the Utah Board of Regents and others to bring the schools together to solve some of CEU's monetary difficulties.

The bill would establish the school as a comprehensive regional college of Utah State University, and if the bill passes in its present form the school would be known as Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah.

The bill includes provisions for the two present campus locations, a chancellor who will lead the school and report to the president of USU, and a regional advisory council (which will replace the present CEU board of trustees). However, under the bill one USU trustee would be appointed by the governor from the USU-CEU service area.

There are no monies attached to the bill for the change because that would be financed through money appropriated to USU.

Issues addressed in the bill also include changing the status of the school as a completely separate operation and adopting policies and procedures that have been under the control of local college officials to a cooperative approach between USU and CEU.

The bill in various ways also addresses the misson of the present college and how that will relate to the new institution.

The change in the schools status would take effect on July 1, 2010.

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