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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bethany University to close, president says

SCOTTS VALLEY - The end has come for Bethany University, the 100-year-old Christian college in Scotts Valley that has struggled in the past couple of years with dwindling finances and shrinking enrollment.

Bethany President Lew Shelton announced the Assemblies of God college is closing during a meeting Monday with faculty and staff.

"There will be an immediate cessation of all teaching activities June 13 and we will prepare for an orderly shutdown of the university," said Shelton, reading a letter from the college's chairman of the board Rev. James Braddy. "We did all we could to avoid this painful decision. We simply had no other choice. I have prayed and done all I can do."

The college is preparing a "teach out" plan in which summer courses will be completed.

Letters and emails from university officials will be sent to Bethany's students and parents to inform them of the decision.

The closure will go before Bethany's board of trustees at a meeting July 7 for formal approval, Shelton said.

Details are being worked out in regard to final pay for staff, refunds for students, scholarships for athletes and settling debts to its numerous vendors, he said.

The closure comes after a deal with private investors to purchase the university fell apart.

Last week, Bethany officials announced that the college would be taken over by an unidentified group of investors, and Shelton declared he would step down as president.

However, the funding never materialized, Shelton said.

Posted: 06/13/2011 02:48:54 PM PDT
Updated: 06/13/2011 02:56:54 PM PDT


Accessed June 23, 2011