Iowa Wesleyan University (IWU) will close at the end of this academic year due to financial issues. On March 28, the school board unanimously voted to proceed in this direction.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce that the Board of Trustees has made the heartbreaking decision to close our beloved Iowa Wesleyan after 181 years as an educational pillar in this community,” said IWU President Christine Plunkett. “Our focus now is to ensure a smooth transition for our more than 850 students to another educational opportunity.”
In order for current students to complete their programs, IWU has arranged tuition agreements with William Penn University, Upper Iowa University, University of Dubuque and Culver-Stockton College, with more options available.
“President Plunkett and her leadership team will work closely with faculty and staff as the university prepares to close,” Plunkett and IWU Board Chair Robert Miller said in an email to staff. “There will be several meetings over the next week so that everyone can make a plan to secure their new jobs.”
According to the university, the closure is a result of financial problems resulting from increased operating costs, inflationary pressures, changing enrollment trends, declining philanthropic giving and the rejection of a federal proposal for COVID funding. This is despite an overall post-pandemic increase in registrations and an increase in retention.
“We have worked tirelessly to find a solution at all levels, but to no avail,” Miller said.