Latest News New England College of Optometry and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences End Merger Discussions By Staff Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:21 AM BOSTON— The New England College of Optometry (NECO) and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS University) announced last week that they have ended discussions exploring a potential combination. The two educational institutions had originally announced last month that they were in discussions, as reported by VMail February 13, 2013. “We appreciate the time and energy the leadership of both institutions put into exploring a further relationship,” said Steven Manfredi, board chair of NECO, and Charles Monahan, president of MCPHS University. “At this time both entities agree that we should move forward independently.” Founded in 1894, NECO provides a four-year, post-baccalaureate professional curriculum to approximately 475 students. MCPHS was founded in 1823 and has over 6,000 students pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degrees in approximately 50 academic programs on three campuses, including optometry, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, nursing, physical therapy, dental hygiene, radiological science, public health and pre-med. MCPHS University’s School of Optometry was founded on its Worcester campus in 2011, as reported by VMail Nov. 11, 2011.