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Thomas Jefferson University & Philadelphia University Sign Letter of Intent to Explore Integration

The Boards of Trustees of Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University today announced the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) to exclusively pursue the integration of the two universities. The move signals a recognition by both boards that creative partnerships will be central to the future of education and 21st century career paths. Next steps will include continued dialogue between the two organizations to arrive at a Definitive Agreement in 2016 that would lead to the creation of a comprehensive university that delivers high-impact education and value for students in health, science, architecture, design, fashion, business and engineering.

Forward-Thinking Education that Challenges & Disrupts

“Our vision for Jefferson’s academic pillar has been to develop forward-thinking education that integrates new learning models and delivers programs that meet the evolving needs of today’s students,” said Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., MBA, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “By integrating two financially and academically strong universities that already have incredible synergies and significant complementary programs, we can create a model that further disrupts and challenges higher education to deliver great outcomes for 21st century students, employers, patients and our communities,” he said.

Reimagining Education to Launch Students into the Careers of their Passion in Bigger, Bolder Way

Stephen Spinelli, Jr., Ph.D., president of Philadelphia University, added, “An integrated Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University allows us to reimagine education in a way that launches students into the careers of their passion in a bigger, bolder way. It allows us to build on the PhilaU model for professional education; explore unprecedented opportunities to further enhance expertise across a broad range of professional academic programs; identify more industry education partnerships to support collaborative, real-world learning; increase investment in discovery and program development; and identify opportunities to provide unprecedented value for students and employers of the 21st century.”

Dynamic Approach to Professional Education

An integrated Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University would create a unique model, according to Drs. Klasko and Spinelli, that combines design thinking, systems thinking, entrepreneurship, and the modes of thought that are central to the liberal arts with the scientific inquiry and methodology of the health sciences. It would create a new standard for inter-professional, transdisciplinary learning and collaborative discovery through an active, engaged, real-world approach that develops professionals with the robust skill set needed to tackle complex problems.

The provosts of both Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University added that this integration would create a significant academic advantage for students, faculty and staff. “The faculty and staff of Philadelphia University already envision powerful synergies that can provide amazing opportunities,” said Matt Dane Baker, Provost and Executive Vice President of Philadelphia University.

“Our combined universities will create a first-of-its-kind university with an educational continuum in professional education that spans undergraduate and graduate programs,” said Mark Tykocinski, M.D., Executive Vice President & Provost, Thomas Jefferson University; Dean, Sidney Kimmel Medical College.

The combination would create Philadelphia’s fifth largest university with enrollment of about 7,500 (approximately 50 percent graduate and 50 percent undergrad with roughly half of total enrollment coming from each institution); hub and hub campuses in East Falls and Center City providing suburban-like and urban student experiences; expanded research opportunities; and a combined alumni base of 78,000.

About Jefferson

Our newly formed organization, Jefferson, encompasses Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, representing our academic and clinical entities. Together, the people of Jefferson, 19,000 strong, provide the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educate the health professionals of tomorrow, and discover new treatments and therapies that will define the future of health care.

Jefferson Health comprises five hospitals, 16 outpatient and urgent care locations, as well as physician practices and everywhere we deliver care throughout the city and suburbs across Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties in Pa., and Camden County in New Jersey. Together, these facilities serve nearly 73,000 inpatients, 239,000 emergency patients and 1.7 million outpatient visits annually. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is the largest freestanding academic medical center in Philadelphia. Abington Hospital is the largest community teaching hospital in Montgomery or Bucks counties. Other hospitals include Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in Center City Philadelphia; Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia; and Abington-Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township.

Thomas Jefferson University enrolls more than 3,900 future physicians, scientists, nurses and healthcare professionals in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC), Jefferson Colleges of Biomedical Sciences, Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy, Population Health and is home of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

For more information and a complete listing of Jefferson services and locations, visit

About Philadelphia University

Philadelphia University, founded in 1884, is a private university with 3,750 students enrolled in more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs. As the model for professional university education, the University, through its award-winning Nexus Learning approach, prepares students to be leaders in their professions in an active, collaborative and real-world learning environment infused with the liberal arts.

With nationally ranked programs in physician assistant studies, architecture, fashion design, graphic design, strategic leadership and occupational therapy, and opportunities for industry partnerships and internships with top companies, PhilaU graduates have achieved a job success and graduate school placement rate of 95 percent.

Philadelphia University includes the innovative Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce; the College of Architecture and the Built Environment; the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts; and the School of Continuing and Professional Education. For more information, go to

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