Concordia University, which has aggressively expanded its 24-acre Northeast Portland campus in recent years, announced today it will close its doors after more than a century of operations.
"After much prayer and consideration of all options to continue Concordia University-Portland's 115-year legacy, the Board of Regents concluded that the university's current and projected enrollment and finances make it impossible to continue its educational mission," said Interim President Dr. Thomas Ries. "We have come to the decision this is in the best interest of our students, faculty, staff and partners."
The university served nearly 6,000 students as recently as 2018: about 1,600 undergraduates and 4,300 grad students.
A 2016 Oregonian investigation showed that Concordia paid more than $100 million to an enrollment consulting firm, resulting in an unsustainable enrollment increase and drawing the attention of federal law enforcement officials.
Private colleges and universities around the country have suffered in recent years from a student debt crisis and demographic shifts that have led to declining enrollment. Concordia last year got some transfer students from the abrupt closure of Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego.
Answers to some of the questions students, faculty and employees may have about closure can be found here. The university said in a statement that its parent, the the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, will probably sell the campus.