Graduate Students

Vennard College, in Iowa, Announces It Will Close

November 13, 2008

Vennard College, a small Christian college in University Park, Iowa, has announced it is closing at the end of the semester because of mounting financial pressures and low enrollment.

The college, which closed briefly in the 1990s for financial reasons, was facing a $300,000 deficit this semester and anticipated a larger one in 2009, The Des Moines Register reported.

Vennard is not the only small parochial college to struggle with financial problems. Last month Oklahoma Christian University said it would shut down Cascade College, which it operated as a satellite campus in Oregon, at the end of its spring semster.

Enrollment at Vennard is about 80 students. The college says it has struggled for years to raise the number above 100.

“I think it was the right decision, but a heartbreaking decision,” Robert W. Bagley, the college’s vice president for academic affairs, told the Register.

A final commencement will be held on November 22, and the college will stage a fair that weekend for other Christian colleges to recruit Vennard students and staff members. —Kathryn Masterson