ASU and Thunderbird School of Global Management Sign a Deal to Merge Arizona State University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management have finally inked out a deal that will officially make the Glendale college a part of the ever expanding ASU system. The joining of the two schools allows the two to join together and offer students access to innovative resources and strong international business centered educations. ASU President, Michael M. Crow, says of the new partnership with the neighboring school “The integration of Thunderbird with ASU will benefit both institutions. This will create new opportunities for our students, and it will provide a platform for showcasing ASU’s strengths to a new set, as well as the advantages that come with being part of a major research university.” While the decision to partner up will certainly prove beneficial to both schools, the $22 million of debt incurred by Thunderbird is thought to be a large part of the decision. When the two schools merge once all arrangements are finalized with the Department of Education and their creditors, the debt will be written off, according to Crow. The plans to merge received some criticism initially from the Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association, but the tone has changed in a positive way. A statement released on Friday said, “While we know that challenging time may lie ahead as budgets, staffing and logistics are worked out…the TIAA is both hopeful and confident Thunderbird’s legacy and mission will be preserved as a new era unfolds.” Thunderbird’s leap into the ASU fold may end their 70 years run of flying solo, but there are sure to be many more decades of bigger and better educational options offered in turn.