The Blair and Dana College community remain in shock after the Higher Learning Commission refused to transfer accreditation to a group of investors earlier this week. Dana Regent Robert Coffee says the last glimmer of hope of keeping Dana open is almost gone.
“I would almost have to say it is a done deal. We would need to have probably a good $3 million dollars to open and go for another year.”
There are also many questions if a last minute rescue doesn’t come through, Coffee says the outlook isn’t good for the campus as a whole.
“There is a debt hold to the bond holders. The property of the college is pledged against that bond debt so it is my assumption the property would be turned over to the bond holders.”
Coffee says Regents and others involved in the transfer of ownership worked very hard to make sure there would be no problems with the Higher Learning Commission accrediting the school.
“We feel very betrayed by this because the decision that the Higher Learning Commission did was not based on the facts and documentation and the answers we spent months applying to them.”
Nikki Kinsey is the Director of Marketing at Dana College and says for those driving by, you wouldn’t guess that the college is about to close. There is a lot of activity on campus but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons.
“There have been quite a few meetings with faculty and staff. Students are coming in to get transcripts and setting up appointments with the registrar. There is a lot going on campus.”
Kinsey says staff, faculty and students are also busy packing up their classrooms and offices.
“They are hoping to get everything packed up by the end of this week. There will still be a couple of weeks where people can come in and clean out a little bit more but the closing looks to be compete by July 31st at this point.”
Even though there is a grace period, it has been requested that personal items be cleared out by five today and keys turned in. The 126 year history of Dana College then officially comes to an end.