Between 1983 and 1991 an important sea-change took place in the state regarding its three universities (UMass, U of Lowell, SMU). Various proposals to consolidate the institutions eventually came to fruition in the creation of an expanded university system in 1991. Prior to that, SMU gained seven faculty from the recently-closed Boston State College (1982), and faculty, staff, and new programs with the merger of the Swain School of Design into the College of Visual and Performing Arts (1988). President John Brazil created a more centralized administrative structure and oversaw a period of growth in graduate programs. The university was peripherally involved in the region but was mainly focused internally, and on its own campus.
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