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Urbana University Closes After 170 Years

Urbana University website

A small private liberal arts university in Ohio that’s been in operation since 1850 is closing its doors at the end of spring semester. 

Like many colleges, Urbana University has been hit hard by declining enrollments. But David Decker, President of Franklin University, Urbana’s parent school, says it was the closing due to COVID19 that weakened it so much that it cannot recover.

“We made a pretty honest effort to try to save this institution in 2014 until now but our little boat has just been swamped by this pandemic," Decker says.

Decker says most of Urbana’s more than 1200 students can continue to take online classes or attend Franklin University in person, or Franklin will assist them in transferring to another school.  Any of the 111 full time employees who are not able to transfer to Franklin will be offered a severance package.

Contact Jo Ingles at