After 199 Years, Upstate New York College Will Shut Doors In 2023
The one-time thriving higher education industry in the United States is in decline. According to the publication Inside Higher Ed, colleges across the nation are closing on an annual basis. Eighteen four-year universities shut their doors from 2019-20 to 2020-21. The number of community colleges dropped by 26 over that same period. A common issue is financial instability, the same problem that is shutting down a prestigious liberal arts college in upstate New York.
Cazenovia College has been named one of "America's Best Colleges" by U.S. News for nineteen consecutive years. However, as announced on the Cazenovia.edu website today, they will shut their doors following the Spring Semester of 2023. "We’re deeply disappointed that it has come to this,” Ken Gardiner, chair of the Cazenovia College Board of Trustees, said in a statement.
The statement said that enrollment has dropped over 40%. In addition, the pandemic, rising costs and lack of fundraising were all given as partial reasons. “Considerable time and effort have been spent on improving the college’s financial position over the past several years. Unfortunately, the headwinds and market conditions were insurmountable, leading to a projected deficit of several million dollars for next year. As a result, the College won’t have the funds necessary to be open and continue operations for Fall 2023 and beyond." The college plans to be open for the Spring 2023 semester. Faculty and staff will work with their students to help them transfer to other colleges for the fall. Athletics and other normal spring activities will go on as scheduled.
Cazenovia, which costs just shy of $52,000 per year for tuition, room and board, was founded in established in 1824 as the Genesee Seminary. In 1942, the church sponsorship of the seminary was withdrawn, and it was reorganized to include a junior college program as well as the preparatory school with the name, Cazenovia Junior College. It then became Cazenovia College for Women in 1961. In 1982 it returned to being co-educational and adopted the name Cazenovia College. There is little doubt that many proud alumni are very upset by this news.