Philadelphia shuts down University of Arts

Philadelphia shuts down University of Arts

Message from President Kerry Walk and Chair of the Board of Trustees Judson Aaron:

Today is a heartbreaking day.

University of the Arts will close as of Friday June 7, 2024. We would have shared this news with you directly, but the Middle States Commission on Higher Education elected to withdraw UArts’ accreditation and announce before we could communicate with you. We know that this makes hearing the news of UArts’ abrupt closure even worse.

The closure means that we will be canceling our summer courses, we will not enroll a new class in the fall, and we will support our continuing students in their progress to degree by developing seamless transfer pathways to our partners: Temple University, Drexel University, and Moore College of Art and Design, among others.

We know that the news of UArts’ closure comes as a shock. Like you, we are struggling to make sense of the present moment. But like many institutions of higher learning, UArts has been in a fragile financial state, with many years of declining enrollments, declining revenues, and increasing expenses. We have worked hard this year alongside many of you to take steps that would secure the University’s sustainability. The progress we made together has been impressive.

Unfortunately, however, we could not overcome the ultimate challenge we faced: with a cash position that has steadily weakened, we could not cover significant, unanticipated expenses. The situation came to light very suddenly. Despite swift action, we were unable to bridge the necessary gaps.

On Monday, June 3, 2024 we will host separate town hall meetings for students, faculty, and staff; we will send times and details for those town halls over the coming weekend. We are committed to providing a space for your questions and concerns.

We have done everything in our power to address this crisis and avoid the worst possible outcome: an abrupt closure. Yet we have reached this deeply painful outcome, which we know affects our entire community.

We are grateful for all you’re doing to support one another during this most difficult time.”


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