Two National Associations Serving Independent Higher Education Announce Merger

10/29/2010 — Washington, DC

​​The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) today announced that the merger with the Foundation for Independent Higher Education (FIHE) has been officially approved by Maine and New York, the states in which the organizations were incorporated, respectively. The effective date of the merger was October 14, 2010.

CIC is the national association that provides programs and services for more than 600 independent, liberal arts colleges and universities across the United States; FIHE has served as the national organization for state funds that focus on consortial fundraising and collaborative programs for independent colleges and universities.

In announcing the merger, CIC President Richard Ekman said, “The merged organization will enable us to advance the cause of independent higher education as never before possible. We also will be able to serve the heavily overlapping memberships of the two organizations with a new coherence and a far stronger national voice.”

Former FIHE President Myrvin Christopherson said, “This merger has an enormous capacity to create more and better services for private colleges and universities nationwide.”   Ekman added, “In my view, the planning for the merger has been careful and thorough, and both the FIHE and CIC Boards of Directors as well as the CIC and FIHE staff are ready and enthusiastic about serving private higher education as a merged organization.”

Edward G. “Ned” Moore, the new executive director of FIHE and CIC vice president, and Christopherson have worked with CIC to prepare for the implementation of the merger. Ekman said, “Their cooperative spirit and commitment to realizing the full potential of the benefits of the merger for both CIC and FIHE and for all our member colleges and state funds have been unwavering. We anticipate a very smooth transition; indeed, over the past few months we have already begun to integrate some of our operations.”

The merger culminates close cooperation between the two organizations over several decades. Discussions for the merger have been underway for nearly three years. In early 2008, representatives of the FIHE Board of Directors proposed to CIC that discussions begin that might lead to the merger of FIHE into CIC. This overture was very favorably received by the CIC Board of Directors, and after a June 2008 meeting, the Board voted unanimously to support the merger.

In April 2009, the FIHE Board voted in favor of a resolution to merge FIHE into CIC. The full memberships of both organizations overwhelmingly approved the merger by October 2009.

Advantages of the Merger​

FIHE Endowment

In addition to supporting the 32 state associations that raise money for independent colleges and universities in their states, FIHE also has raised money for national projects that are subsequently administered through the state funds, and it has functioned as a foundation. In this capacity, FIHE distributes proceeds from an endowment, now worth about $36 million, originally made possible by a $4 million gift of stock given to FIHE in the 1970s by the United Parcel Service Foundation.

A committee of the CIC Board will oversee the FIHE endowment and procedures for distributing its proceeds. CIC will continue to administer the FIHE endowment earnings according to the current policy, and it is anticipated that through direct grants and through challenge grants to the state funds, financial support generated for independent colleges and universities will increase over time.​