During its regularly scheduled meeting May 6, the Judson College for Women board of trustees pulled the trigger on what they had hoped wouldn’t happen — a vote to close the 183-year-old Alabama Baptist institution. Eighteen members of the 24-member board voted in favor of suspending academic operations and to move through an orderly closing through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The board appointed a committee of five executive committee members to work with school officials and bankruptcy counsel going forward.
“New donors did not materialize, student retention is much lower than expected, and mounting debt pressures have increased,” Judson President Mark Tew said. “The combined effect of these three items left us no choice.”
All avenues for potential large-scale donors have been explored, as well as all options for mergers, and only about 80 students are registered for the fall, down from 145 in December. Only 12 new students had been recruited for the fall. The mounting debt pressure is stressing the school’s cash flow and now prevents any chance of meeting the $9.1 million budget for the 2021-2022 academic year that begins June 1.