John Brown Univer­sity to close Fort Smith cam­pus

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - NEWS - By Jaime Adame Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette

John Brown Univer­sity will shut down its Fort Smith satel­lite cam­pus next Au­gust af­ter hav­ing a pres­ence in the city for more than 20 years, with a spokesman cit­ing de­clin­ing en­roll­ment as the rea­son for the clo­sure.

The Fort Smith lo­ca­tion has 57 stu­dents in grad­u­ate coun­sel­ing pro­grams, and “it be­came fi­nan­cially im­pos­si­ble for the univer­sity to pro­vide qual­ity ed­u­ca­tional ser­vices to the small number of en­rolled stu­dents,” Tarah Thomas, a com­mu­ni­ca­tion spe­cial­ist with John Brown Univer­sity, said in an email.

John Brown Univer­sity’s main cam­pus is in Siloam Springs. The pri­vate Chris­tian univer­sity be­gan of­fer­ing classes in Fort Smith in 1994.

The univer­sity stopped of­fer­ing evening busi­ness cour­ses two years ago but con­tin­ued with master’s pro­grams in coun­sel­ing fields, Thomas said. A push last year to boost en­roll­ment failed, lead­ing to the “un­avoid­able” clo­sure de­ci­sion.

“Over time, stu­dent de­mand for evening classes in Fort Smith de­clined as in­ter­est in on­line classes grew,” Thomas said.

The univer­sity owns the Fort Smith prop­erty, Thomas said, but no de­ci­sions have been made about what will be­come of the site.

An on­line pe­ti­tion ask­ing the univer­sity to keep the site open un­til all cur­rent stu­dents can com­plete their de­grees had more than 200 sig­na­tures as of Mon­day.

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