Denied accreditation, financially struggling Dana College announces it will close
Lincoln Journal Star
July 1, 2010
Dana College in Blair, Neb. will not open for the fall semester after its accrediting agency denied its request to transfer its accreditation to its new owners.
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Dana College.
On Wednesday, the commission's Board of Trustees sent Dana College President Janet Philipp a letter announcing its decision to deny the college continuing accreditation should it go ahead with its plans to sell.
The Dana College Board of Regents made the decision to close the college Wednesday after its new buyers decided to not go ahead with purchasing the college and turning it into a for-profit college, said board Chairman Dennis Gethmann.
"We are devastated that despite meeting all requests and assiduously working to meet all requirements, the HLC decision does not allow for Dana's continuing operation," Gethmann said. "Nebraska political and public figures were supportive of the proposed change."
The Dana Education Corp. and the Nebraska Higher Education Corp. had planned to buy the college.
But Raj Kaji, president of the Dana Education Corp., said Wednesday the commission's decision to deny the college continuing accreditation ended the deal.
"We are deeply saddened by the impact this will have on the Dana community, the faculty and staff, the community of Blair, the state of Nebraska and most importantly the hundreds of students who will be displaced by this decision," Kaji said.
Dana College students will be able to continue their studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Grand View University in Iowa, according to Dana College.
The Lutheran college in Blair has been struggling in recent years to increase its enrollment and pay off multimillion-dollar budget deficits.
The Higher Learning Commission told the college in a letter Wednesday that the college had failed to meet the requirements for transferring accreditation to a new owner.
Dana was founded 126 years ago as a seminary for Lutheran ministry students and has remained a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Today, there are 550 students enrolled from 35 states, according to the college's website.