July 30, 2021

Concord, NH – Building on the complementary missions of Granite State College (GSC) and the University of New Hampshire Manchester (UNH Manchester), the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) board of trustees voted to establish a single, merged college located in the Manchester-Concord corridor. Following work with legislators and accreditors, the merged entity is intended to become a college within UNH and will retain the name Granite State College. A second key initiative of the integration will be to combine GSC and UNH online learning enterprises to strengthen, promote and expand online education for all USNH institutions.

“This plan was developed and endorsed by a cross-section of the USNH community, including most notably Granite State College’s president and leadership team, alumni trustees and a student trustee, the presidents and leadership teams of UNH, Plymouth State University and Keene State College, and legislative representative members of the USNH board,” said Joe Morone, Chair, USNH Board of Trustees. “All of us on the board look forward to working with elected officials to implement fully this important next step in USNH’s continuing efforts to secure the future of New Hampshire’s public higher education in the face of accelerating demographic, structural and financial challenges.”

As part of the plan, the USNH board of trustees voted unanimously to elect James W. Dean, Jr., Ph.D., president of Granite State College, effective September 1, 2021. This is an expansion of Dean’s current role as president of UNH and a first, important step to combining the strengths of GSC and UNH to better serve students, New Hampshire’s workforce, and the state.

“Our goal is to create purposeful growth of Granite State College and the University of New Hampshire to better serve students by increasing the breadth of offerings, advancing the educational mission, and strengthening the University System of New Hampshire,” said Dean. “The decision by the board sets us on a path of combining the ample strengths of GSC and UNH in ways that will support enhanced educational opportunities for all. I am honored the board has entrusted me with this additional responsibility and I look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to ensure our system of public higher education remains affordable, accessible, and aligned with the needs of the Granite State.”

Granite State College and UNH Manchester have a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs that are offered to traditional, non-traditional, and working professional learners. All students currently enrolled at GSC and UNH Manchester will be able to complete their degree programs as planned.

More information about President Dean and the plan to integrate GSC and UNH operations is available at www.unh.edu/provost/granite-state-college-and-unh.

The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) enrolls 30,000 students and consists of four public institutions: Granite State College, Keene State College, Plymouth State University and the University of New Hampshire. USNH strives to ensure the availability of appropriate and accessible higher educational opportunities throughout New Hampshire and addresses critical state workforce needs. A 29-member board of trustees is responsible for overseeing the university system.

Media Contact:
Lisa Thorne
Director Communications, University System of New Hampshire
V: 603.862.0924
M: 603.540.9954