Tuesday, December 23, 2008

As Debts Mount, Morris Brown College Will Not Reopen Next Semester

I Twittered a story about the issues regarding Morris Brown College (MBC) by linking to a story courtesy of My Urban Report (just figured out that the link didn't work, sorry). Indeed in the past MUR's Amani Channel has helped produce some videos for the College to advertise that they are open for business.

Courtey of Black Politics on the Web some more details of what's going on over at MBC...
Well before city officials shut off the water at Atlanta’s Morris Brown College last week, the 127-year-old college was already buckling under the weight of $32-million in debt.

Now, without the money to pay $380,000 in water bills dating back to 2004 — let alone faculty and staff salaries and other key operating expenses — the historically black college will not reopen next semester and may soon close permanently, officials told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this weekend.

Campus officials were scheduled to meet with bankers today to negotiate short-term loans as Morris Brown tries to work out its financial situation, Rhonda Copenny, a trustee, told the newspaper. Without such bridge financing, she said, the college could shut its doors for good in three weeks.

This is only the latest struggle for Morris Brown, which in recent years has suffered from plummeting enrollment, financial corruption, and a revolving door for presidents.

In 2002 the college lost its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools because of heavy debt and a criminal investigation into the financial dealings of a former president, Dolores E. Cross. Four years later, Ms. Cross (who resigned from the college in 2002) pleaded guilty to embezzlement, admitting that she had fraudulently obtained millions of dollars in federal student loans and grants to cover the college’s expenses, which increased sharply during her tenure.
Very unfortunate for one of the institutions of the Atlanta University Center. Perhaps unfortunate that an HBCU might not be able to make it into the 21st Century. Let's see what happens with this situation.

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