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About the Episode

The what's what...

Welcome to the inaugural episode of our Pulse Check series on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in higher education, where we dive into the fascinating world of institutional partnerships and consolidations. In today's episode, host Kin Sejpal

 is joined by Kevin Cavanagh, a seasoned expert in the field, who provides us with a bird's-eye view of the M&A landscape. Whether actively involved in an M&A initiative or not, gaining a high-level understanding of this topic will better equip listeners for what may be inevitable for many in the future.

In today’s episode, you can expect to:

  • Understand why mergers and acquisitions are becoming more prevalent in higher education and how they serve as strategic responses to sector challenges.

  • Learn about the importance of keeping student welfare and educational outcomes at the heart of merger and acquisition strategies.

  • Discover the critical role that thorough planning and transparent communication play in the success of M&A processes.

About the Podcast

Kin Sejpal

Host

Kin Sejpal

Kinnari “Kin” Sejpal is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications/Chief Marketing Officer at University of Redlands where she oversees brand management, enrollment marketing, and communications and digital teams. Before joining Redlands, Kin served as the Associate Vice President, Marketing and Creative Services at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Among her many accomplishments there, Kin developed RIT’s brand strategy and launched its first national reputation campaign. Kin started her career in the U.S. by joining Purdue University’s Office of Marketing and Media where she held progressively responsible roles in the areas of advertising, marketing strategy, and marketing intelligence. Dedicated to advancing higher education and the importance of marketing in shaping the perception of our industry, Kin serves in prominent positions with CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) and AMA (American Marketing Association). Kin has an M.B.A in Marketing and Strategic Management, and an M.A. in Communications from Purdue University.

Kevin Cavanagh

Interviewee

Kevin Cavanagh

Kevin Cavanagh has served the higher education industry for 28 years and stands as a distinguished figure known for navigating the evolving landscape of institutional viability, mergers and acquisitions, and enrollment management. With strategic acumen, Kevin has served as the Chief Enrollment Officer at five institutions, including Manhattan College, Iona University, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, The College of New Rochelle, and Bloomfield College. With a proven track record as an executive leader, Kevin has presented career insights on higher education mergers and acquisitions at conferences such as the Council of Independent Colleges and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s Annual Meeting. His emphasis on strategic partnerships, institutional mission, and commitment to students, faculty, and staff underscores his dedication to shaping the future of higher education. Uniquely positioned as the orchestrator of effective mergers and acquisitions, Kevin led two private institutions—The College of New Rochelle and Bloomfield College—through successful transformative processes. His work culminated in New Rochelle's teach-out with Mercy University and Bloomfield's merger with Montclair State University. Currently advising university boards and presidents, Kevin is a go-to authority for issues related to higher education mergers and institutional sustainability. Additionally, his strategic and crisis communication skills have played a pivotal role in developing effective and timely communications to internal and external constituents, including regulatory, governmental, and banking partners. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Manhattan College, where he earned the distinction of Phi Beta Kappa, and an MBA from Manhattan College. With a commitment to students, faculty, and staff, Kevin envisions a higher education landscape where institutions thrive through strategic alliances, upholding their missions, and championing sustainability.

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