Atlantic Union College Closes Again

Atlantic Union College has announced that it will close at the end of the current semester.

AUC is affiliated with the Atlantic Union Conference (local conferences:  Bermuda, Greater New York, New York, Northeastern, Northern New England, and Southern New England) and originally closed in 2011, after losing its accreditation for financial reasons. (The underlying problem is the developed world's death bed demographics, and hence an acute shortage of students.)

AUC reopened in 2015 on a limited basis under President Avis Hendrickson.  According to the Worcester Business Journal, Hendrickson expected to grow the student body to more than 100 by the Fall 2017 semester.  But sadly the growth never materialized, and enrollment is still below 50 students.  

Atlantic Union spokesman Emmanuelle Ortiz told the Sentinal & Enterprise Wednesday that the closure was forced by constituent conferences pulling their financial support:

"There are two [Seventh-day Adventist] conferences that want to pull out completely and a third that wants to cut its funding by half," he said. "We did a feasibility study and there's no way for the school to continue on financially."

The Southern New England Conference had voted last April to withdraw their annual $800,000 in support to the college.

The college plans to finish out the current semester and help students transfer into other area schools and programs.