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Days after voluntarily surrendering accreditation, Union Institute & University announced it is closing at the end of the month, concluding a lengthy saga over the small college’s fate.

A closure announcement shared with Inside Higher Ed by email and attributed to Union President Karen Schuster Webb and Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Tom Frederick noted the history and impact of Union, particularly in serving the needs of adult learners.

“The post-pandemic world has changed higher education. Almost all universities now realize the potential of adult learners; almost all recognize the opportunities of distance learning,” they wrote. “We leave knowing that we have made our mark on the higher education world.”

The announcement had not been posted to Union’s site as of Thursday evening.

Union Institute & University has struggled significantly since late 2022, when the college began failing to make payroll and pay rent for its Cincinnati headquarters. Educational activity has been on pause for much of the last year, with undergraduate classes last offered in summer 2023. Classes for doctoral students were last offered in fall 2023. Union has been in limbo since.

Union, Ohio’s only Hispanic-Serving Institution, has been losing money and students for years. While enrollment topped more than 1,600 students in the early 2010s, it fell to 787 in fall 2022, according to the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. 

The university also lost access to federal financial aid last November and was hit with a $4.3 million fine by the U.S. Department of Education for alleged mismanagement of federal student aid dollars. Union has also faced a state investigation over complaints that it did not pay employees.

Founded in 1964, Union lists former Jamaican prime minister Portia Simpson Miller and Jane Sanders, a former college president who is married to U.S. senator Bernie Sanders, among its graduates.