Falling enrollment numbers has caused a historic Iowa college to announce a round of layoffs and the closure of several remote learning sites.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that Upper Iowa University has announced that it will be cutting 37 positions and closing seven of its more than 20 regional education centers. The position cuts include 22 layoffs at the private university's main campus in Fayette. The Gazette reports that an additional 15 positions will be lost with the closure of its Rockford, Illinois location, and six Wisconsin sites, including Madison and Milwaukee.

Officials say that the changes are part of the school's efforts to focus on the primary campus location in Fayette. The Gazette reports that the school will also continue to support strong performing centers in Iowa, Louisiana, and on military bases, and its online learning program. School officials say the layoffs are due to lowered enrollment projections.

Facebook via Upper Iowa University
Facebook via Upper Iowa University

Just how old is Upper Iowa University? The Gazette reports that the school was founded in 1857. That is just ten years after Iowa became a state! Just like other colleges, Upper Iowa is facing declining enrollment numbers. Last fall enrollment at the school totaled 3,072, up slightly from 2021, but down 43% from 5,382 in 2018. While Upper Iowa faces layoffs, another Iowa college recently shut down for good. The Gazette reports that Wesleyan University in Mt. Pleasant is closing after 181 years. It was the second oldest university in Iowa.

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