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Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, to Close After Spring Semester

Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, to Close After Spring Semester

“the third Portland-area private college to shut down since 2018”

Another school bites the dust. How many more will there be this year?

Oregon Live reports:

Portland’s Concordia University will close at end of spring semester

Concordia University announced Monday it will close this spring after 115 years in operation.

The private, nonprofit Lutheran university’s Board of Regents voted last Friday to cease operations at the end of its spring semester. The university’s 24-acre campus is expected to eventually go up for sale.

The closure reflects the difficult times facing colleges. Shrinking enrollment has taken a financial toll on many universities across the country. Concordia is the third Portland-area private college to shut down since 2018 — Marylhurst in Lake Oswego and the Oregon School of Art and Craft shut their doors permanently, unable to compete in these leaner times.

Tom Ries, who took the post of interim president in early January, said Concordia’s enrollment plummeted from more than 8,000 four years ago to around 5,000 currently. He said the university has a “significant” debt load and faced significantly higher costs in the coming year.

The shutdown came suddenly. Just last Tuesday, Concordia staged a flashy event that raised $355,000 for its an innovative program with Portland Public Schools. The first some staff and faculty heard anything about a shutdown was when it was announced to them at 9 a.m. Monday. Students got the word an hour later.


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As a local it always seemed to be a place searching for a purpose, which IMHO is about 50% of the colleges out there at the moment. The physical campus is pretty small as most students are doing it on-line. They have no dormitories that I am aware of and the dining hall is grab and go. I suspect that the physical campus will be absorbed by the Community College network, probably at an exorbitant price, since it is OPM.

You can’t be everything to everyone, which it seems many schools are trying to be.

Although I do feel badly for good schools who are trying to make it in this world of

A law school is closing. I’m very sad.