Union Institute & University is pulling up the stakes at its Montpelier campus.
The four-year, liberal arts program based in Cincinnati announced that it is going to wrap up its operations on the Vermont College campus in June. Union bought the 32-acre campus back in 2001 to operate its low-residency programs. But five years ago it sold it to the Vermont College of Fine Arts and leased back space. But school officials say their enrollments have declined over the last decade.
Vermont College of Fine Arts officials say the departure was expected and should have no major impact on their operations.
"They have over time been dialing down their usage of the campus. Their students have been moving more of their programs to online and so there have been less actual students here, so the impact for us isn't that significant. I mean we're growing ourselves-- we've gone from 234 students when we started to 360 graduate students today with the goal of getting to 500 in the next two years. So, were actually going to need more and more of this campus as time goes on," said Thomas Greene, the president of the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
The Vermont College of Fine Arts also leases buildings on campus to NECI, state offices and the Pacem School.
Union officials say about 15 positions in Montpelier will be affected by the closure. They don't expect any changes at the school's Brattleboro campus.