Ashford University to close campus in Clinton, Iowa
Two years after staff cuts were announced, troubled Ashford University announced their Clinton campus will close.
All non-faculty employees at Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa were offered the option to voluntarily resign when the staff cuts were announced in June 2013.
“Ashford’s Clinton campus has been unable to resolve its significant and ongoing enrollment shortfall, a trend that is especially troubling in today’s highly competitive environment,” said Ashford University Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Gregory Geoffroy in a statement posted to the Ashford website. “This decision was thoughtfully and carefully considered, and we are deeply saddened to close a campus that is so rich in history and committed to providing its students with a quality academic experience.”
The closure will be gradual over the next year, to allow the opportunity to attend commencement in May 2016 for students who are close to completing their degrees.
About 60 percent of returning students will be able to transfer to Ashford’s online program to finish their degrees.
Affected campus employees would get individualized career assistance, the statement said.
Ashford’s Iowa Online Center would not be impacted by the Clinton campus closure, and the company planned to concentrate more on leveraging online learning programs.
“Currently, online students account for nearly 99 percent of Ashford’s total student population, and the University intends to continue serving non-traditional students who want the flexibility offered by online education,” the statement said.
Ashford and the company that owns it, Bridgepoint Education, settled a lawsuit filed in Iowa, denying wrongdoing but agreeing to pay $7.25 million to settle claims that recruiters lied to convince prospective students to enroll in online classes.