These are lean years for Christian colleges, but few have faced tougher financial times than The King’s College in Briarcliff Manor, New York. Founded in 1938 by evangelist Percy Crawford, King’s is waging a battle for its survival. Amid doubts about the school’s future, enrollment has plummeted from a high of 860 in 1980 to an estimated 230 this fall. King’s, which depends heavily on tuition income for its solvency, has responded in part by greatly reducing its staff and faculty.
To make matters worse, earlier this year the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools informed King’s that its accreditation would not be renewed based on concerns about the college’s overall viability. As a result, several students have transferred.
Paul Neuman, the school’s director of communications, says King’s would be on the road to recovery if the sale of its Briarcliff Manor campus could be completed. King’s already has assumed the mortgage on a new campus in Sterling Forest, New York, which it had planned to occupy by June. An Irish sports and cultural association wants to buy the Briarcliff campus. But a small community group—voicing concern about noise and traffic—has delayed the sale by requesting an extended environmental impact study, forcing King’s to default on the Sterling Forest loan.
Some contend that the school in recent years has lost the confidence of alumni and churches that traditionally have supported King’s by sending students and dollars. In the past, allegations have surfaced regarding the integrity of the leadership at King’s, particularly Friedhelm Radandt, who has been president since 1985. David Diehl, who taught at King’s from 1967 to 1988, was forced out after refusing to sign a statement expressing confidence ...1
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