Marylhurst Board of Trustees Votes to Close University by End of 2018
Students, faculty and staff to receive support throughout transition
After months of extensive analysis and thoughtful deliberation, the Marylhurst University Board of Trustees has voted that the University will stop all operations by the end of 2018. The 50-acre property will be returned to the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, who will make future plans for the property in alignment with their mission and values.
The Sisters of the Holy Names created Marylhurst nearly 125 years ago with a mission to provide a Catholic, post-secondary liberal arts education to students of all faiths, and with an emphasis on educating ethical leaders of competence, conscience and compassion who will work to create a more just, humane and sustainable world. We know today that Marylhurst has fulfilled this mission.
While this was a painful and challenging decision, we believe it was the right one. The Board’s vote was the result of a long and careful decision-making process – a process that put students, faculty and staff first, and which occurred before the University faced far greater risks.
Like many small, private, liberal arts colleges and universities, we have seen a steady decline in enrollment since the end of the Great Recession. The Board and University leadership reviewed numerous reorganization scenarios and strategies to create alternate forms of revenue; you can read more about these in the Board’s resolution to close. Despite these efforts, we were unable to see a viable financial path that would have enabled us to sustain the high level of academic programming for which we have always strived and that would not cause harm to our students, faculty and staff.
Unlike other university closures, which have frequently followed a loss of accreditation, mounting debt, recalled loans or bad audits, we are fortunate to have monitored our situation closely so we could make this decision before encountering any of those problems. Making the decision at the end of the regular academic year also allows time for us to work with students to consider their options and transfer to other programs next fall or winter, or to graduate as early as this summer.
While this decision is difficult for all of us who cherish this great University and embrace its mission, it is made with a sense of quiet resolve that we have chosen the most responsible and respectful path forward.
Our priority over the coming months will be to provide support to our students, faculty and staff as they process this announcement and plan a transition to continue to pursue their educational and professional goals.
What’s Next: Resources and Information Regarding Closure
For Current Students
The Enrollment and Student Services department is prepared to help you transition to another university to complete your degree, or (if you’re close enough) assist with a course plan to graduate by the end of Summer 2018.
Available M – F, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.*
*Beginning June 11, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Student Q & A Forums
May 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
May 23, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Students may participate in a Q & A forum with President Melody Rose and representatives from the Marylhurst Board of Trustees.
Transfer Information Session
Thursday, May 24, 4 – 7 p.m. at Marylhurst.
Meet with several local universities to discuss transfer options.
For Faculty and Staff
The Office of Human Resources is prepared and ready to help faculty and staff with employment questions as well as provide resources for employment transition. We want to ensure that each member of our community understands their options and has their questions and concerns answered. Each employee will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the HR team to discuss their individual separation plan.
We will hold four one-hour open forums in Clark Commons on May 21 (10 a.m. and 1 p.m.) and May 22 (9 a.m. and 2 p.m.) to provide guidance and resources.
Faculty Q & A with President Rose
May 23 | 5 – 6 p.m., The Old Library
Marylhurst faculty are invited to join President Melody Rose and representatives from the Board of Trustees for a Q & A forum about the closure.
For Alumni and Donors
The Office of University Advancement is helping our alumni and donors with questions regarding the closure. Supporting our 12,000+ alumni base and our generous donors is important to us. We’ve compiled resources to address some of your concerns.
Meet with President Rose
Alumni and donors are invited to coffee with President Melody Rose on the following dates/times:
June 4, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., The Old Library
June 6, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., The Old Library