Statement from Dr. Ash on the Closing of Iowa Wesleyan University

Everyone at Southeastern Community College is saddened by today’s news of the Iowa Wesleyan University Board of Trustees decision to close the university.

I can only imagine how difficult a decision it was for the board to make. Closing a respected institution of higher learning with a 181-year history was not something they took lightly.

Our two institutions have been strong community partners over the decades providing area residents access to quality higher education without having to venture far from home.

Many SCC students have been preparing to transfer to IW over the past two years to take advantage of the SCC & IW Southeast Iowa Higher Education Alliance transfer program. SCC student advocates will work with them to make alternate arrangements to continue their educational path after SCC. We also stand ready to serve any IW students in search of a new plan to reach their educational goals.

While I am disappointed that our efforts weren’t enough to turn the tide, I am proud of the work that was done by the dedicated teams at SCC and IW to form the Southeast Iowa Higher Education Alliance. This partnership enabled each institution to bring the best of what each had to offer for the benefit of our students and our region. We explored novel ways for public and private institutions to work together for the benefit of the students and the institutions, and were pleased that our efforts were starting to bear fruit as cost-saving measures went into effect and more students chose to take advantage of the program. Even though the partnership as we know it will end, we were able to show what was possible when two motivated institutions come together to work to improve college access.

Our thoughts and prayers are with IW and the Mount Pleasant communities as they navigate the coming months.

Dr. Michael Ash
President, Southeastern Community College