Dear Colleagues,

In today’s ever-evolving higher education landscape and professional marketplace, there are numerous opportunities for strategic affiliations among universities that share complementary strengths.

Given our reputation and our standing in Philadelphia, a number of promising prospects have surfaced, and we are pleased to report that we are exploring an exciting opportunity for Drexel University: an affiliation with Salus University, a highly regarded institution that offers a wide range of non-overlapping graduate degree programs in the health sciences. In addition, Salus operates four clinical facilities in Philadelphia and Montgomery counties that provide highly specialized vision, hearing and balance, speech-language pathology and occupational therapy services.

Many universities are considering these types of partnerships as part of a strategy to tap into new markets in areas of study that have strong labor demand outlooks. As stated in previous communications to the Drexel community, demographic shifts, global events and an uncertain economy are affecting higher education in unprecedented ways. In order to remain competitive and position themselves to be responsive to the expectations of the higher education market, universities must become more nimble and innovative in supporting and expanding their academic strengths.

The form of a Drexel-Salus affiliation has yet to be finalized. An affiliation with Salus— pending completion of due diligence, approval by the Boards of Trustees of both Drexel and Salus in May, and any required regulatory and judicial approvals—would bring together the strengths of both institutions in graduate health sciences education and clinical practice. This would further solidify Drexel’s place as a leader in preparing future interprofessional health sciences practitioners by adding renowned Salus graduate degree programs such as Optometry, Audiology, Blindness and Low Vision Studies, Speech-Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, and Orthotics and Prosthetics.

In addition, an alliance with Salus would expand our graduate enrollment and promote interdisciplinary research opportunities in new areas. This advances the goals of the Drexel 2030 Strategic Plan, which calls for the University to diversify revenue sources and to expand immersive learning experiences. As an added benefit, Salus also shares Drexel’s strong commitment to civic engagement and community outreach.

An affiliation with Salus creates a promising path forward for both institutions. As we continue to explore this exciting opportunity, I will keep you updated starting with a virtual briefing to be held next week. More information on how to join the briefing will be shared at a later date.


John Fry

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