The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees voted Wednesday, April 27 to close the Torrington branch due to declining enrollment, according to university spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz.
The decrease in enrollment has “hampered the university’s ability to provide an experience at [Torrington] that is equivalent to other UConn locations,” Reitz said in a UConn Today article.
The Board of Trustees voted to authorize the closing of the campus as well as to direct university officials to offer every UConn Torrington student the opportunity to continue their education at other UConn campuses.
“Recommending the closure of the Torrington campus is not something we take any pleasure in doing, but it is a reflection of the reality we face,” said UConn President Susan Herbst. “The state’s financial situation and its effect on UConn means that we have to think very strategically about where we devote our resources over the long term.”
UConn Torrington currently needs at least $8.6 million in capital improvements over the next 10 years, not including any additional expenses for updating labs, classrooms and other research and academic spaces, according to Reitz.
Enrollment at the branch has decreased by roughly 44 percent since 2011 to spring 2016. UConn Torrington lost 17 students since just last semester, and the branch’s total undergraduate headcount for spring 2016 was 136 students. Only 88 undergraduates are full-time, Reitz said.
“The number of college-bound high school seniors in northwestern Connecticut has dropped in recent years and is slated to continue that decline, resulting in a smaller pool of potential UConn students for the small commuter campus,” Reitz said.
Herbst said that these changes make it impossible to provide high-quality education at the Torrington campus.
Students accepted into Torrington’s 2016-17 freshman class will be notified about other UConn branch options. Any prospective student who decides not to enroll at UConn will be reimbursed for enrollment deposits, application fees and other advance payments made to the university, according to Reitz.
Academic advisement and financial aid counseling sessions will be offered at the Torrington campus as well as at local high schools to ensure students are aware of the options available to them.
Megan Krementowski is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.