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PHOENIX -- Arizona State University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management may merge -- or at least partner up.

The Glendale-based management school has faced financial and staffing difficulties, but sources say some connection with ASU may be forthcoming, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.

"The university does not confirm or deny whether negotiations are taking places on any matter," said ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler.

Thunderbird officials also would not comment on "how [it] might become related to ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business as well as ASU's West Campus, just a few miles [away]."

The school was in talks with for-profit Laureate Education, Inc., but those negotiations ceased in April.

Thunderbird has had as much as $24 million in debt.

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