Southern New Hampshire University and the New Hampshire Institute of Art are considering a merger.
A memo from SNHU President Paul LeBlanc to the university's faculty and staff says a merger would "instantly expand" SNHU's offerings in the arts and give it a greater presence in downtown Manchester.
For the arts institute, joining SNHU could promote its programs better online and it could benefit from the larger university's marketing and recruitment capabilities. Additionally, NHIA students could access SNHU class offerings and facilities.
The memo, dated Thursday, says the two institutions have signed a memorandum of understanding to work toward an eventual merger and hope to have a final decision by Sept. 1.
NHIA Board of Trustees Chairman Joe Reilly says a merger could benefit students, the faculty and the community.