Thunderbird would remain separate from ASU's Carey School

The Thunderbird School of Global Management is in talks to merge with Arizona State University, according to statements from both schools.

"This merger offers significant advantages to both institutions," says ASU President Michael M. Crow. "Through the integration of Thunderbird with ASU, the Thunderbird historic global education vision will be sustained and extended, students at ASU and Thunderbird will have access to more courses and programs, ASU’s executive education programs can be broadened and expanded, and financial efficiencies will be created."

In the planned merger, Thunderbird would remain as a separate unit within ASU, distinct from the university's existing WP Carey School of Business. Thunderbird's business education portfolio — which includes a full-time MBA program and other master's programs, as well as a variety of executive education courses —  would serve as a "complement" to Carey's programs, according to a Thunderbird press release.

Under the terms of the merger, students currently enrolled in Thunderbird programs, as well as those who will start this fall, would continue to complete their Thunderbird degrees as originally planned. However, as early as the fall 2015 term, many Thunderbird degree programs would be delivered as "Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University" programs.

For ASU, the merger might represent a way to extend the international reach of its business programs. While Thunderbird is based in Phoenix, Arizona, it also has campuses in Geneva and Moscow.

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