Atlantic Union College Temporarily Shuttered
as State Flunks Approval Deadline
Washington Adventist University to take up slack for 2011-2012 year
By Adventist Review staff
Plans to make the South Lancaster, Massachusetts, campus of Atlantic Union College (AUC), the church’s oldest college campus, into a branch of Washington Adventist University (WAU), hit a snag on July 14, the institutions reported.
As a result, AUC’s campus is to fully close, an undisclosed number of layoffs are to take place, and AUC students are being encouraged to enroll at the Takoma Park, Maryland, campus of Washington Adventist University this fall.
As of July 14 the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education was “still processing the application and has not yet given its approval,” the schools reported. “As a result, the WAU campus will be unable to open in the fall in South Lancaster, but Atlantic Union College students will be able to attend Washington Adventist University at the Takoma Park campus.”
The statement indicated, “Washington Adventist University will begin educational activities in South Lancaster when the permission to operate in Massachusetts is granted by their Department of Higher Education.”
“We’re working through the process and are optimistic that we’ll be able to operate soon after permission is granted by the commonwealth. Moving this process forward keeps our commitment to serve the educational needs of students in 15 states in the mid-Atlantic and northeast United States and the islands of Bermuda,” said Weymouth Spence, president of WAU.
Norman Wendth, president of AUC, said, “Fortunately, WAU has already been working with our students to provide a smooth transition to the Takoma Park campus.”
According to the Worcester, Massachusetts, Telegram and Gazette newspaper, a memo from Wendth and Don King, Atlantic Union Conference president, said departing employees would get a severance package. Some will get offers to work in Takoma Park.
—with information from the Columbia Union Visitor