This is news that should be making its way around the nation. Delaware State University (DSU) will announce this week its agreement to purchase Wesley College, making the university the first HBCU to do such a thing. This news comes right after The White House also gave the university $300,000 to boost their capacity to support regional economic development strategies in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The school just seems to keep scoring wins in a time many colleges and universities are struggling to figure out their next moves.
With DSU's acquisition of Wesley College, they will be receiving a 50-acre, 20-building campus that was appraised at $33 million. Also, Wesley College has very little debt, something that is uncommon DSU will also be looking to renegotiate contracts with shared vendors, including food service provider Aramark and IT vendor Ellucian to extend and enhance services offered to their students.
The acquisition is a result of President Bob Clark searching for a school to purchase Wesley College and meeting with the boards of DSU and Wesley late last month. When the University of Delaware talks didn't come to anything, Clark quickly moved on to DSU and president Tony Allen. Allen loved the idea and made sure it would happen. It makes sense for DSU to acquire Wesley because they are a minority serving institution and with DSU being an HBCU, the university is uniquely positioned to serve the incoming population of students from Wesley.
DSU leadership believes they will be able to retain almost 1,000 of the reported 1,035 students the college had enrolled at the start of the fall 2019 semester. Wesley is a private college, so the tuition will be significantly cheaper, dropping from $27,000 to just under $9,000 for in-state students and 17,000 for out-of-state students; giving plenty of reason for students to just make the switch to DSU. DSU has grown roughly 40% over the last 10 years and the acquisition of Wesley will continue to bolster growth, development, and expansion plans.
Clark, Wesley's president has been arguing for the school to receive state funding, since more than half of the student body are Delaware residents. With the deal, this will now be a no brainer, since DSU is a public HBCU. With the deal, DSU will be acquiring Wesley’s nursing program which is one best in the state and their graduates account for a large number of Delaware’s health care workforce. Also, DSU will be getting an accredited Master of Occupational Therapy program, which Wesley has had since 2015, when Clark arrived as president and is the only program of its type in the region.
This is amazing news for DSU and the HBCU community as a whole. This is Black History!!!
**This story is developing and will be updated throughout the week.**