Bloomfield College and Montclair State University announced merger plans Wednesday. 

The leaders of the two institutions — Bloomfield President Marcheta P. Evans and MSU President Jonathan GS Koppell — have been authorized by their respective trustees to sign an agreement and plan of merger, according to an MSU press release. The document sets forth the terms and conditions of the merger and advances plans to create the Bloomfield College of Montclair State University.

Bloomfield College is New Jersey's only four-year Predominantly Black Institution, as well as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Minority Serving Institution, the release says. More than 81% of the students are people of color and nearly 70% are Pell Grant eligible. The median family income is below $33,000.

Last fall, Bloomfield College announced that it was seeking a partner institution that it could work with to form a strategic relationship that would ensure that the college could continue to carry out its mission for the long term.

In March, MSU announced it would provide financial support to Bloomfield, if needed, to ensure the college could remain open through the 2022-23 academic year while the two institutions worked toward their goal of establishing a permanent relationship.

After receiving several inquiries from interested institutions, Bloomfield decided on MSU.

"The missions of both institutions are closely aligned," Vernon M. Endo, Bloomfield Board of Trustees chair, said in the release. "It was clear that Montclair is as committed as we are to providing traditionally underserved students access to high-quality educational experiences and a pathway to social and economic advancement.”

Bloomfield College will continue independent operation through the 2022-2023 academic year, and until it is officially part of MSU, the release says. The aim is for the merger to be completed by June 30, 2023. 

"Students enrolled at Bloomfield College will benefit from a distinctive educational environment offering a supportive, small college experience enhanced by the resources of a comprehensive public research university," Koppell said in the release. "This partnership could serve as a new national model for how institutions with similar missions can innovate through integration, and become partners in ensuring student success instead of competitors."

At the time of the merger, Bloomfield students will be able to continue their schooling “without interruption and without additional costs,” the release says. And MSU “will make every effort to provide employment opportunities for Bloomfield College's current employees.”

"Bloomfield College of Montclair State University will support and serve our current and future students by providing a transformative educational experience with access to the university's abundant resources," Evans said in the release.

Over the next several months, Bloomfield and MSU “will continue to address the many outstanding details and develop comprehensive plans to ensure a smooth transition,” the release says.

In the release, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo said he was thrilled to see the two institutions coming together.

"This county is a wonderful place to live, work and go to school, and this new partnership between Bloomfield College and Montclair State University will only make our community stronger," DiVincenzo said.