Wesley College revisited

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Hello everyone,

A number of people who sent along comments on last week’s column regarding a $3.2 million request for Dover’s Wesley College believe state aid is a bad idea.

The latest request comes on top of past state assistance to a school, which, as its name indicates, has ties to Delaware’s deep Methodist roots.

In recent decades, the denomination and alumni never united behind the college – hence a meager endowment and other long-standing financial issues.

The consensus among readers is that colleges and universities are not exempt from competition. If that leads to dire consequences, so be it.

One reader took note of the still shrinking pool of students needed to fill up its dorms as evidence of an uphill battle.

There was some support for the University of Delaware entering into a partnership or some other arrangement that mirrors state university systems around the country.

The counter-argument centers on Dover already having a sizable brick and mortar campus presence at Delaware State University and the Delaware Technical Community College’s Terry Campus.

One neighbor living near the Wesley campus said more transparency is needed regarding the financial status of the college. She is worried that a vacant campus – not a rarity these days – will affect property values in the area.

A final update

WBOC TV, to its credit, obtained a copy of a letter through a Freedom of Information request, that indicates Wesley is seeking a merger, more than likely with an out of state institution with deeper pockets

At first glance, it would seem to indicate that the money is intended to hold the fort until a White Knight comes along. That seems to undercut any argument for using taxpayer money to support a private institution.

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