Shimer College is on track to be acquired by North Central College, a change that’ll move the tiny, 163-year-old school from its current quarters on the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago campus to suburban Naperville.

The Shimer board announced last week that it has signed a memorandum of understanding that will set the acquisition in motion. If it goes through, Shimer will be operating its “Great Books” liberal arts college on North Central’s Naperville campus by the fall term of 2017.
According to the announcement, Shimer, which has a tradition of proud independence, will retain its distinctive method of teaching through primary texts and student discussions, though its faculty “will become North Central College faculty” and its students “will become North Central College students.” 

Shimer president Susan E. Henking said in the statement, “Shimer is thrilled to have this opportunity to sustain our mission in a new context, continuing to provide an excellent liberal arts education rooted in close reading of primary texts and a discussion-based pedagogy. We look forward to the opportunity to do so at North Central College.”

Shimer, with a student body of 100 or less in recent years, moved from its original location in Mt. Carroll, Illinois, to Waukegan in 1978, and had been renting space at IIT since 2006.