- Alderson Broaddus College, a Baptist establishment in West Virginia that larger ed specialists say is liable to closure, has an unpaid utility invoice of practically $776,000, spurring native authorities officers to threaten to chop off providers.
- Town of Philippi informed the college it is going to finish water, sewer, rubbish and electrical providers on or after July 31 if the invoice isn’t paid, in keeping with an undated termination discover. An Alderson Broaddus spokesperson didn’t present a remark by publication time Wednesday.
- The college’s monetary stress comes at a time when a number of small schools, together with non secular ones like Alderson Broaddus, have introduced they’re shutting down, citing causes like inflation and financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alderson Broaddus — a financially struggling establishment with a number of hundred undergraduates — has many hallmarks of an establishment on the breaking point.
Its enrollment has dropped steadily lately, from roughly 1,150 college students in fall 2015 to fewer than 800 in fall 2022, in keeping with federal information. That downturn has thrown its funds into uncertainty and prompted West Virginia regulators this month to grant the college solely provisional approval to function.
The state’s provisional settlement with Alderson Broaddus requires the college to develop teach-out plans by Oct. 1 to assist its college students switch to different establishments to complete their schooling. It additionally demanded the college safe college students’ educational and monetary assist data with a 3rd social gathering.
And regulators warned they might revoke their blessing at any time ought to the establishment not meet the state’s benchmarks for financially solvent schools. The college is permitted to function by way of June 2024.
The college stays accredited. However its accreditor, the Increased Studying Fee, plans to fulfill with Alderson Broaddus officers subsequent week as part of renewing its accreditation, in keeping with native press stories.
An HLC official informed Increased Ed Dive this month that in making accreditation selections, it might think about regulatory actions in opposition to the college, just like the one the state simply took.
The utility termination discover solely provides to Alderson Broaddus’ troubles. It states that the college can contest the cancellation for a number of causes, together with if slicing off service would threaten “the well being or security of a member of your family.”
The college has struggled to pay its payments earlier than. It defaulted on a roughly $36 million bond in 2015, which had been issued to pay for brand spanking new pupil housing and an athletic stadium, in keeping with a former governing board member.
The default partly prompted HLC to place the establishment on probation in 2017. HLC lifted the probation two years later but in addition knowledgeable the college its monetary instability might put it out of compliance with the accreditor’s requirements.
HLC eliminated the sanction in 2021.