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Birmingham-Southern College to close in May after nearly 170 years



Birmingham-Southern College to close in May after nearly 170 years
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard

Birmingham-Southern School, a non-public liberal arts faculty in Alabama, will shut on the finish of Could after working into monetary difficulties and being unable to safe a monetary lifeline from the state, officers introduced Tuesday.

The School Board of Trustees voted unanimously to shut the longtime establishment, officers stated in a information launch. The announcement got here after laws geared toward securing a taxpayer-backed mortgage for the 168-year-old personal faculty lately stalled within the Alabama Statehouse.

“It is a tragic day for the School, our college students, our staff, and our alumni,” the Rev. Keith D. Thompson, chairman of the Board of Trustees, stated in a press release from the faculty. “However it’s also a horrible day for Birmingham, for the neighborhoods who’ve surrounded our campus for greater than 100 years, and for Alabama.”

Birmingham-Southern School, a non-public liberal arts faculty in Alabama.WVTM

Plenty of small personal faculties nationwide are struggling with a declining variety of conventional college-aged college students and competitors from bigger, richer establishments.

The faculty of about 1,000 college students is positioned on the west facet of Birmingham, certainly one of Alabama’s principal cities.

The choice to shut follows years of monetary difficulties and efforts to maintain the establishment open. The faculty stated the monetary crash of 2009 brought on a $25 million loss to the worth of its endowment. An audit in 2010 uncovered vital accounting errors within the budgeting of federal scholar monetary help, which led to price range cuts and layoffs. Moody’s Buyers Service downgraded the faculty’s bonds after income declines brought on the faculty to drew closely upon its endowment.

The personal faculty had hoped to safe a monetary lifeline from the state. The Alabama Legislature created a mortgage program final yr to supply monetary assist to distressed faculties, however state Treasurer Younger Boozer denied the varsity’s mortgage utility.

New laws was launched this yr. The faculty stated in a information launch that conversations with Home management “confirmed that the invoice didn’t have sufficient assist to maneuver ahead.”

Supporters of the laws had hoped to maintain the faculty open not only for the sake of the establishment, however due to the impression on the encompassing neighborhoods if the 192-acre campus is shuttered.

Birmingham-Southern College, a private liberal arts college in Alabama.
Birmingham-Southern School, a non-public liberal arts faculty in Alabama.WVTM

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., stated “the failure of state leaders to do their half and supply help to BSC is especially disappointing.” 

“For years, Birmingham-Southern School has propelled our state ahead by producing excellent graduates, a lot of whom I’ve had the privilege of using,” she added, noting her present legislative aide and chief of employees are alums of the varsity.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin stated information of the closure is “disappointing and heartbreaking to all of us who acknowledge it as a stalwart of our group.”

“I’ve stood alongside members of our Metropolis Council to guard this establishment and its proud legacy of shaping leaders. It’s irritating that these values weren’t shared by lawmakers in Montgomery,” Woodfin stated Tuesday.

Birmingham-Southern Provost Laura Ok. Stultz stated the faculty is engaged on agreements with different establishments to helps college students “maximize the switch of credit to maintain them on monitor.”

The college dates to 1856, when Southern College was based in Greensboro, Alabama. That college merged with Birmingham School in 1918 to turn into Birmingham-Southern, with a campus west of downtown Birmingham.

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