Many feel it is a fate awaiting thousands of private colleges across the US, as the 48 year old Dowling College has finally had to close down. It is not unexpected with many students and staff were already aware of the fact that the college was struggling with rising levels of debt combined with a fall in enrollment numbers.
Albert Inserra released a statement this week –
“As painful as this announcement is, we want the student body, faculty and alumni to know that we made every effort to form a suitable academic affiliation so that we could keep the college open.”
The college had supplied for almost 50 years undergraduate and graduate courses in criminal justice and some aviation programs for up to 2400 students. Although it was well known that the college had been struggling for years with numbers falling consistently over the last few years particularly.
There were other rumours that the college was not particularly well run, there have been seven different presidents over the last 12 years. Other issues included allegations of money paid by the college to businesses linked to the Board of Trustees, apparently more than $4 million.
The school was founded in 1955 as part of an expansion of Adelphi University, it became a separate institution in 1968 taking the name of it’s principal benefactor Robert Dowling who was a well known aviator and New York City Planner. It’s campus is set in beautiful grounds and as such it is not known what will happen to them.
It is surprising that Dowling couldn’t attract more students because it’s very well situated and the college courses would seem to be in popular areas. Certainly criminal justice is often cited as a growth area even in times of austerity. However the supply of these courses has also grown, in a phenomenon some have referred to as the CSI factor. The field is likely to improve too as there are growing opportunities in related fields such as forensics for example. Crime is becoming increasingly technical, for example online crime takes specialist skills to encompass computer crime. People frequently use techniques and VPNs not just to stream Wimbledon live like I do but to encrypt and hide their connections.