DuNews Article

Six colleges and universities form Iowa Catholic Collegiate Association

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The six Catholic colleges in Iowa have formed the Iowa Catholic Collegiate Association to collaborate and find innovative ways to address the ever-changing issues facing private colleges and universities.

Presidents of Briar Cliff University, Sioux City; Clarke University, Dubuque; Loras College, Dubuque; Mercy College of Health Sciences, Des Moines; Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids; and St. Ambrose University, Davenport; share a common vision and steadfast commitment to the sustainability and enhancement of Catholic Higher Education in Iowa, according to the statement of purpose drafted by the group.

“We know that working together we can provide an even more relevant and robust learning environment for our students,” Jim Collins, president of Loras College, said. “My colleagues and I are no different in that we share these concerns, but still see a bright future for our students because of the quality educational experience we all provide.”

The move comes as both public and private higher education institutions face escalating costs, changing demographics, decreased funding and public uncertainty about their value. This is particularly the case for smaller independent colleges and universities that lack the economies of scale and scope to influence and negotiate their disconcerting situations.

“This uncertain climate demands institutions adopt a more intentional and strategic orientation toward cooperative alliances,” Collins said. “Rather than ‘going it alone,’ institutions working in collective groups can significantly enhance their capacity to effectively confront their uncertain and dynamic industry and operating environments.”

To curtail those challenges, together the schools will explore possible joint ventures, administrative and programmatic, to contain costs, enhance effectiveness and improve competitiveness with the goal of sustaining and enhancing Catholic higher education in Iowa.

Postsecondary education in Iowa began at Loras College in 1839, and Catholic colleges and universities have continued to play a significant role in Iowa higher education in the intervening decades.  United in their Catholic identity, Iowa’s Catholic colleges and universities have a shared desire to ensure Catholic higher education continues to provide students with collegiate experiences that promote the integration of faith and reason.

For additional information from the partners in the association contact: