HANCOCK, Mich. (WZMQ) – It was announced Tuesday, March 14, that Finlandia University’s Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to dissolve the institution and wind up affairs in an orderly manner. The announcement follows news from March 2 that the institution would not enroll students for the 2023-2024 academic year.
The Board of Trustees and University President Timothy Pinnow stated the extremely difficult decision is the result of an intensive analysis of Finlandia’s operations after exploring all potentially feasible strategic alternatives, including the rigorous search for new partnerships and reorganization of the institution’s finances. With financial challenges impacting liberal arts colleges throughout the country, Finlandia is no exception. The combination of demographic changes, with fewer high school graduates available, a steep decrease in interest in going to college among those graduates, a dwindling endowment, and an unbearable debt load have made Finlandia no longer viable.
Finlandia’s Board of Trustees and President have shared that Finlandia has hired legal counsel with experience in winding up the affairs of educational institutions. The University has notified the Office of the Attorney General of Michigan of its decision and is in the process of filing all appropriate paperwork with relevant regulators and accreditors.
Finlandia is working toward helping students find new academic homes and has submitted teach-out plans to the Higher Learning Commission that include options to complete comparable programs at other institutions and information about admissions to partner schools, including all credits earned. The teach-out plans also ensure that students will be able to complete their program in a timely manner and for a comparable cost to Finlandia.
Finlandia’s Board and President have said that in order to make funds available to facilitate student transfers and operations certain staff have been laid off, with most remaining staff to be laid off following commencement. The University is working diligently to satisfy its obligations to creditors, and it aims to ensure that all faculty, staff and vendors receive compensation for their work.
A teach-out and transfer fair with more than 20 colleges and universities will be held for Finlandia students on March 20. An employment fair with regional employers and other higher education institutions will be held for FinnU employees on March 21. Information regarding the events and institutions in attendance is available at finlandia.edu.
Finlandia’s Board of Trustees and President wish to thank the faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni and community who have exhibited honor, dedication and grace throughout this process, knowing that the broader mission of Finlandia University will continue to grow and live on through the community from which it was built.