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Jefferson College and Radford University announce the two will merge

(Radford University)

RADFORD, Va. (WSET) -- Carilion Clinic, the Jefferson College of Health Sciences, and Radford University announced that they intend to merge Jefferson College into the Radford University family of colleges and departments.

"Radford University and Jefferson College have a robust history of collaboration, and these two great institutions are now working toward an even stronger partnership," said Dr. Brian O. Hemphill, president of Radford University. "This endeavor benefits the students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters and communities of both institutions, along with the Commonwealth of Virginia and the entire region."

Carilion Clinic currently owns and operates Jefferson College.

"Both schools are approaching this potential merger from positions of institutional excellence and financial strength. We’re combining forces to create something even bigger and better for the entire Commonwealth," said Dr. Nathaniel L. Bishop, president of Jefferson College. "We believe that together, we can enhance the quality of health care education and research better than we could individually."

They said the merger planning process is expected to take 18-24 months.

"As we work carefully during the next several months to determine the best structure, we will be diligent in our efforts to keep stakeholders informed about the process," Hemphill said.

Radford said it intends to welcome Jefferson College primarily into its Waldron College of Health and Human Services.

"Jefferson College already enjoys a wonderful relationship with Radford University," said Bishop. "This next step makes sense for both institutions, and serves to enhance Radford University’s reputation as a premier educational destination for those seeking careers in nursing, health care and health sciences."

Jefferson College currently has about 1,000 students and is one of the top producers of nursing and allied health professionals in the region and is in the top 10 in the state.

Radford University is a comprehensive public university of more than 9,400 students offering undergraduate and graduate programs.

"Carilion Clinic is proud to have nurtured Jefferson’s growth, as it established a reputation for developing ethical, knowledgeable, competent and caring health care professionals," said Nancy Howell Agee, president and CEO of Carilion Clinic. "Joining the Radford University family is a wonderful opportunity for Jefferson College. And now is the right time as the vision for a health sciences and technology campus in Roanoke comes to life. Partnerships among leading academic institutions strengthen our region as a destination for health education and research, and ultimately drive economic development."

Students from both Radford and Jefferson College will have access to enhanced educational opportunities now, including clinical rotations and internships.

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