Wheelock College will become part of Boston University beginning in the 2018-'19 academic year. The merger was made official Wednesday, after two months of negotiations.
In a community-wide letter, Robert Brown, BU's president, said the merger will combine faculties from Wheelock and Boston University. BU's ed school will emerge from that process under a new name — the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development — with a renewed commitment to "quality early childhood and K-12 education."
Over its 129-year history, Wheelock has built an international reputation for its curriculum training early educators, with faculty playing a major role in crafting the preschool system in Singapore. But in recent years, the college came into financial difficulties as its spending increased, its enrollment fell and alumni giving stagnated.
David Chard, who became the college's president just last summer, decided that a merger was the best option for the small campus, home to just 68 full-time faculty members and just over a thousand undergraduate and graduate students.
That's the same day that Wheelock's Fenway campus and $50 million endowment will transfer over to BU as well. Students still at Wheelock in the fall of 2018 will have a variety of options as they plan the end of their education: transferring to BU or remaining within Wheelock programs — and they'll pay the same lower tuition.
Tenured faculty will move over, too, though Brown's letter said they'll undergo a process "determining [their] titles and responsibilities" in the new school.
That said, the merger will leave some behind: Wheelock staff members and nontenured faculty will be asked to join the new school at BU only on a "case-by-case basis," Brown's letter said.