A merger with Eastern Virginia Medical School is not a done deal, according to The College of William & Mary President Taylor Reveley.
On Tuesday, Reveley was joined by Board of Visitors Rector Jeffrey Trammell for an informal campus conversation in the Sadler Center that has become a tradition at the start of the school year.
In July, Reveley announced William & Mary was exploring the possibility of turning Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) into the College of William & Mary School of Medicine. The schools agreed to exclusively explore the feasibility of such a merger. Before a decision can be made, both institutions plan to “carefully investigate the implications,” according to Reveley’s announcement, and the length of the due diligence period is unknown. If the two schools were to proceed with the change, the General Assembly and Governor would have to give their respective stamps of approval.
During the campus forum, chemistry professor Lisa Landino asked how the possible merger would proceed after the university receives a feasibility report on Oct. 15.
Reveley said the due diligence period will not conclude with the report due on Oct. 15. Provost Michael Halleran, who is leading the due diligence group producing the report, said it will show who the group has consulted so far and provide a status on the due diligence process. “We realistically cannot do the required due diligence in this period of time,” he said.
At this stage, the group is looking to see what reasons might exist to not pursue a merger any further. It will answer, “does anyone see something that suggests this is dead on arrival?” Reveley said. “In which case, we could save a lot of time and a lot of money.”
At the same time, he doesn’t want the process to take longer than it should, and said he hoped it would be completed before 2015 if it is going to happen.
Reveley listed several possible deterrents for EVMS to become a school under the W&M umbrella. “It’s on the other side of the tunnel; they are completely sovereign; they’ve only partially sold their soul to the state, and by no means are subject to all the rules that we are,” he said. “We’ll have to find out, will we be stronger together and is there a compelling reason to do this?”
Halleran noted only one college-affiliated group has proclaimed the proposal a definite. “I understand the Class of 2016’s Facebook page says it’s a done deal,” he said, eliciting laughter from the audience.