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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