Less than a week after merger talks with another Christian college collapsed, Montreat College in North Carolina announced plan to go it alone. The college's board announced what it called an ambitious plan to revitalize the college. It announced it had received $6.4 million and was hoping to raise another $1.6 million for the effort, known as "All In," which would include a search to replace its interim president, renovate facilities, pay down debt, add new programs and research, and give more financial aid.
The board had been subject of much criticism from alumni and faculty and a no confidence vote from faculty after it announced plans last year to merge with Point University, another Christian college about a five-hour drive away in Georgia. The plan might ultimately have closed Montreat's main campus, which lies in a scenic mountain cove near Asheville.
The board's plan, announced Saturday, may go a long way to soothing those many concerns and made clear the college does not plan to merge.
"After evaluating all of those options, the board of trustees has sensed that God is not finished with Montreat College as an independent institution, and we believe Montreat has a bright future ahead of it," board Chairman Barney Wright said in a statement.
Kevin C. Auman, chairman of the Faculty Executive Committee , said the board's actions helped address faculty concerns. "We were aware that it [was] unlikely that they would be able to address every issue in one meeting, [but] we got far more than we expected," he said in an email. "There is still work to do, but this is a strong step in the right direction."