Iowa Wesleyan University to Close at End of Academic Year, Citing Financial Issues

Iowa Wesleyan University (IWU) will close at the end of this academic year due to financial problems. The school’s board of trustees unanimously voted Mar. 28 to move in this direction. Iowa Wesleyan University

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the Board of Trustees has made the heartbreaking decision to close our beloved Iowa Wesleyan after 181 years as an educational pillar in this community,” IWU President Christine Plunkett said. “Our focus is now on assuring our over 850 students have a smooth transition to another educational opportunity.”

So that current students can complete their programs, IWU has arranged teach-out agreements with William Penn University, Upper Iowa University, University of Dubuque, and Culver-Stockton College, with more being a possibility.

“President Plunkett and her leadership team will work closely with faculty and staff as the university prepares for closure,” Plunkett and IWU Board Chair Robert Miller said in a email to staff. “Several meetings will be held over the next week so everyone can develop a plan to secure new employment.”

The closure is the result of financial issues stemming from increased operating costs, inflationary pressures, changing enrollment trends, declining philanthropic giving, and the rejection of a federal COVID funding proposal, according to the university. This comes despite overall post-pandemic enrollment and retention growth.

“We have worked tirelessly to find solutions at all levels but to no avail,” Miller said.