East Central College will discontinue service at its Sullivan location at the end of this academic year.
The college’s board of trustees voted unanimously Monday night to close the location due to dwindling enrollment and budgetary issues.
As the board and administrative team look to cut costs and avoid the possibility of a budgetary deficit, President Dr. Jon Bauer proposed closing the Sullivan site. He said the location is currently costing the college more revenue than it is producing.
“Closing a site is never an easy decision,” he said. “We have tried various scheduling options in an effort to reverse the enrollment trend, but the efforts have not been successful.”
According to Bauer, over the past several years, enrollment at the leased space at 11 North Clark has significantly declined. In 2009, the campus had more than 500 students. It currently has 49 students.
In total, in fiscal year 2016, the location only earned roughly $21,000. The lease of the location itself costs $23,736.
Trustee Dr. Joseph Stroetker said closing the location is unfortunate, but hopes that in the future ECC would try to continue servicing Sullivan.
“Closing the facility in Sullivan will surely be a loss to the community. I would love to hear an argument or a plan that would allow the location to say open,” Stroetker said. “But in a time of budget watching it makes sense to approve this closure.”
Closing the site will result in the elimination of two part-time staff positions, as well as the cost of the adjunct faculty teaching at the campus, according to Bauer.
He said that students who attend Sullivan will have options to enroll in courses in Union or Rolla, and will have access to more comprehensive services than are available at the site.
“When you look at the cost of running the site and the number of students it benefits, it really makes sense to not continue to operate there,” Bauer said.