End of the Line for Knoxville College?

knoxville-collegeHistorically Black Knoxville College in Tennessee has announced that it will not hold any classes this coming fall. The college, which lost its accreditation in 1997, has seen enrollments dwindle to the point that there are only 11 students enrolled for the current spring semester.

The college said that it is suspending classes so that it can focus on reorganization, but no timetable was given for the resumption of academic activities. The school has a large amount of debt. The college took out a major loan in 2003 and used the 39-acre campus as collateral. Most of the buildings on campus are shuttered. The Environmental Protection Agency seized control of what had been the college’s science building because of the presence of toxic chemicals that had not been properly stored.

Knoxville College was founded in 1875 by the United Presbyterian Church of North America. At its peak in the 1960s, enrollments reached 1,200 students. After losing its accreditation in 1997, the college sought to become a “work college.” After some initial success, this effort also lost momentum.

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  1. More and more HBCU’s will be forced to close their doors because of President’s and Board of Trustee’s that lack long term vision and critical thinking skills. This is unfortunate because African-American youth need educational institutions to provide a quality educational experience so they can be successful and employable in the future.

  2. Why, oh why, don’t institutions that lose their accreditation close their doors after fighting the good fight to regain it. To continue to operate deprives its students of a quality education. Schools don’t have to have the renown of a Harvard or Yale but it’s leaders must have integrity. Our Black students have been victimized enough by the larger society. To recruit students to an unaccredited college/university by the very Black folks who promise to SERVE Black youth, is an abomination. I said the same thing about the Morris Brown College leadership. Absolutely an abomination. My words reflect my own opinions and not of any other person or institution, public or private, religious or secular. Robert Lee, PhD

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