The University of San Francisco is considering an acquisition of the San Francisco Art Institute, the two institutions announced Thursday.

The two have signed a letter of intent to “explore integrating operations and academic programs in the arts to elevate the next generation of artists,” according to a letter from Paul Fitzgerald, president of the University of San Francisco.

The Jesuit university will now begin a review of the finances, curriculum and physical assets of the art institute and explore the accreditation process for a new program. If the acquisition is completed, the institute would become the San Francisco Art Institute at the University of San Francisco, and the university would acquire the art institute’s land and assets, including the Anne Bremer Memorial Library, art and film collections, the Diego Rivera Gallery, and other campus art spaces.

The potential acquisition could mark the end of a years-long financial struggle for the art institute. Following failed merger talks with other nearby institutions, the institute announced in March 2020 that it would suspend degree programs and would not admit any new students. Several months later, the institute reinstated some degree programs and remained open while it continued seeking a merger deal.

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