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Dowling College on Tuesday joined the ranks of small independent institutions that could not overcome economic downturns, demographic changes, and some questionable management. The private college on Long Island announced its immediate closure after a last-ditch effort to form an alliance with another college apparently failed.

The institution has had 7 leaders in 12 years, and its enrollment had fallen by more than half (to about 2,000) since 2009.

“As painful as this announcement is, we want the student body, faculty and alumni to know that we made every effort to form a suitable academic affiliation so that we could keep the college open,” President Albert Inserra said in a written statement.

Summer classes were supposed to start this week, but a stark announcement on Dowling's home page said that the summer sessions had been canceled.