By Emma Whitford
Two colleges — the San Francisco Art Institute and MacMurray College — announced last week they will suspend admissions or close entirely at the end of the semester, adding to a growing list of institutions that are halting operations amid the new coronavirus outbreak.
As with all college closures and wind-downs, the details of each case are different. But each can provide additional insight into how at-risk institutions will be forced to react to a suddenly stressed environment.
SFAI will not admit any new students and is considering suspending regular courses and degree programs at the end of the spring semester. That decision will be made in coming weeks, said Pam Rorke Levy, chair of the institute’s Board of Trustees.
Michael Horn, co-founder of the Christensen Institute, said that the new coronavirus will “hasten the demise of many schools that are on the brink and struggling” for two reasons. First, already-declining enrollments are likely to fall even further. Second, the oncoming economic disruption will hurt colleges’ bottom lines and impact students’ ability to pay tuition and fees.