A small private college in Wisconsin is closing at the end of the summer because of several factors, including the coronavirus pandemic.
Holy Family College, located in Manitowoc, about 80 miles north of Milwaukee, will end operations at the end of its summer term. It will close by Aug. 29, it announced.
The college enrolled 346 undergraduates and 98 graduate students as of fall 2018, according to federal data. That’s little changed from 357 undergraduates and 72 graduate students the college reported enrolling as of fall 2016.
The decision to close the college, which is sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, comes after an in-depth analysis of its financial position, leaders said. They pointed to enrollment and fundraising issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everyone at the College has been working hard to achieve enrollment growth and increased fundraising, especially College President Dr. Robert Callahan,” said Sister Natalie Binversie, community director of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Manitowoc, in a statement. “Under his leadership, good progress was made in addressing several years of earlier negative fiscal performance, and overall, he did a great job. However, the tough challenges were made even tougher with the COVID-19 outbreak, and we collectively made this difficult decision.”
The current 2020 class will be the college’s last. Leaders plan to work with other students to help them transfer elsewhere.
Holy Family College will hold a limited number of summer-term classes that were already scheduled.
Layoffs are set to begin June 13, with another round June 30 before all positions are eliminated Aug. 29. Full-time faculty positions are slated to terminate Aug. 13, with the exception of those teaching summer-term classes.