More on the MBS-UniMelb Integration

More details have emerged regarding the proposed integration of Melbourne Business School (MBS) and the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Economics and Commerce (FEC).

According to Christina Buckridge, writing in the MUSSE newsletter, the integration has already been agreed upon in principle and the University Council is now establishing a due diligence committee that will carry out an “intensive consultation process” on the integration proposal. In other words: Now that they’ve decided that they’re going to integrate, they’re going to sit down and decide how they’re going to integrate.

The consultation process that Buckridge refers to works as follows:

  • A consultation committee is established. This consists of representatives from the relevant parties (i.e. staff and faculty from MBS and the FEC), most likely someone from UniMelb administration, and other experts or advisors (as required).
  • Committee members come up with ideas for the integration and they ask everyone involved (or affected) to submit ideas, advice, and opinion as well. They put all that together and come up with a draft plan that is made public.
  • Everyone then gets an opportunity to comment on the draft. Those comments are taken on board and a final plan is written up.
  • The final plan then gets approved by the University Council after which it comes into effect. (In this case, it’ll probably be an agreement that will get signed by all the parties involved.)

The proposed structure of the resulting integrated entity is what we thought it would be: a new Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) under which all graduate degrees will be offered by MBS and all undergraduate degrees will be offered by the School of Economics and Commerce. It is still unclear how Mt Eliza is going to fit into this new structure.

The most interesting thing in that post, however, is the last paragraph which states:

A Heads of Agreement is under negotiation which, with the results of due diligence enquiries, will inform a Coordination and Management Agreement, with a view to integration by the end of March 2009.

If I’m reading that correctly, once the due diligence is done and the integration agreement is written and signed, they’re hoping to complete the actual integration by the end of March 2009. That’s a lot quicker than I expected but it makes sense that they’d want everything done as soon as possible.

So what now? Well, we first see what committee gets formed and we then wait for the consultation process to begin. I’m not sure whether this will happen before the Christmas break of after…but considering the speed at which they’re already going, it’ll probably happen very soon.