An attempt to merge two southeastern Christian colleges collapsed this week amid intense alumni and faculty opposition, a real estate hiccup and an air of mystery.
The effort to merge Point University in Georgia and Montreat College in North Carolina, which are about a five-hour car ride apart, began in January 2013. At a gathering of 60,0000 Christian students in Atlanta, a trustee from Montreat approached Point President Dean Collins to see if he would be interested in a deal.
Whether the plan made sense from the start depends on whom you ask.
Collins said the conversation with the trustee, who he declined to name, set off a round of exploration.
There were similarities: kindred degree programs and religious missions. There were differences: Point is a nondenominational university and was once affiliated with the Church of Christ, and Montreat is still affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). There were opportunities: economies of scale and the chance for Point, which already has five sites for adult programs, to easily expand into North Carolina.