Tough Times Push More Small Colleges to Join Forces

Tough Times Push More Small Colleges to Join Forces 1

Courtney Perry for The Chronicle

Steven Poskanzer (left) and David Anderson both lead colleges in Northfield, Minn., a town of about 20,000. Their institutions, Carleton College and St. Olaf College, have embarked on an effort to share resources.

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close Tough Times Push More Small Colleges to Join Forces 1

Courtney Perry for The Chronicle

Steven Poskanzer (left) and David Anderson both lead colleges in Northfield, Minn., a town of about 20,000. Their institutions, Carleton College and St. Olaf College, have embarked on an effort to share resources.

Maybe it was providence that put two well-respected liberal-arts colleges together in a town of 20,000 people in rural Minnesota. Maybe it was luck.

Either way, it's an opportunity too good to pass up, say Steven G. Poskanzer and David R. Anderson, the presidents of Carleton College and St. Olaf College, respectively. Soon after Mr. Poskanzer arrived at Carleton in 2010, the presidents began talking about how these two colleges could work together more closely in areas like the