Sullivan University website

The Sullivan University System board of directors announced on Monday that the three schools in its system would merge, likely in early 2018. Spencerian College, Sullivan College of Design and Technology and Sullivan University will become a single entity: Sullivan University.

Glenn Sullivan, president of the Sullivan University System, said that talks about merging the three schools had been occurring for more than a decade. The system’s chancellor and co-founder, A.R. Sullivan, and father of the president, said in a news release, “This is not a decision that has been taken lightly, nor is it a new concept.” Sullivan is very much a family affair. A.R. Sullivan founded it with his late father, A.O. Sullivan.

According to the statement, Sullivan is working with its accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, as well as the U.S. Department of Education and the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education toward making the merger a reality in the near future. It added that the combination could occur early in 2018, or, it could later, depending on a number of factors.

“Bringing all the schools under a common regional accreditor strengthens the resumes of our graduates and builds a strong identity for all of our divisions,” Chancellor Sullivan said in the release. “A merger will also create the benefit of operating under a single brand, offer efficiencies, save resources and eliminate some current redundancies.”

Dr. Jay Marr, chief executive for Sullivan University, is managing the merger with a team made up of members from each of the three institutions.

Patrick Crowley of Strategic Advisers, who heads up the school’s PR, told Insider that students and faculty were told of the merger last week. He explained that the system was still looking at the transition on a “broad scale,” and it was too early to talk about things like staffing and programming. He said that the benefits to students include shared resources and access to the programming of all three schools.

The Sullivan system currently offers certificate and diploma programs, associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees. Sullivan University operates a branch campus in Lexington, an extension campus on the Army Post at Ft. Knox. Tuition ranges from $315 to $850 a credit hour depending on the program and course of study.

Spencerian was founded in 1892 and will soon move from its location on Dixie Highway to DuPont Circle as previously announced, according to the release. The Sullivans founded SCDT in 1961 and Sullivan University in 1962. The family purchased Spencerian in 1969.