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Iowa Wesleyan University faces potential closure

November 5, 2018

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) — A private school in southeast Iowa is on the verge of closure and needs to secure several millions of dollars, despite a recent increase in enrollment.

Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant needs to raise more than $2 million for its spring semester and at least $4.5 million to stay open for another year, The Hawk Eye reported.

The university’s lack of a healthy endowment and extensive donor network are two contributing factors to the funding issues, said Steve Titus, the university’s president.

“At this moment, the university does not have the required financial underpinnings to bridge the gap between strong enrollment and new programming, and the money needed to keep the institution open,” he said.

If the university fails to raise the funds, current seniors hoping to graduate in the spring would have to transfer to another university at the end of the fall semester.

“That’s even if we stay open for spring semester,” said Kodi Rundquist, a university junior who transferred to the school last year. “They won’t be able to graduate at Iowa Wesleyan, and the last graduation that would be held would be in December.”

Rundquist said she’s not yet looking at other universities, but she knows many students are taking steps to transfer.

University officials are searching for additional funding sources and partnerships. Officials are also meeting with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, higher education partners and regional business and community leaders to look into alternatives to closure.

The board of trustees will discuss the university’s future during a closed meeting Nov. 18. Another meeting would likely be held the following day to inform the community of any decisions made, university officials said.

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Information from: The Hawk Eye, http://www.thehawkeye.com

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