Finances, low enrolment cause of Orangeville closure

by | Sep 30, 2019 | Campus News, News, Orangeville

Galvin Zaldivar, Senior Reporter

After 15 years of operation, Humber announced its Orangeville campus, located in the Alder Street Community Centre, will be closing at the end of the 2020-21 academic year.

Andrew Leopold, Humber’s director of Communications, said the move came after months of careful deliberation but it had been losing money.

“The campus has been operating at a net loss in recent years, along with increased operating costs,” Leopold said.

He said the decision to close the Orangeville campus was a difficult one for the college to make.

“It affects all of our students who are currently in Orangeville,” he said. “It effects any prospective student who was looking forward to studying Orangeville.

“It affects our employees who work at our Orangeville campus, and it affects the local community,” Leopold said.

He said that for many years the college has tried to increase enrollment by offering different programs. There are about 200 students now enrolled at the campus.

“Colleges [and] universities are all faced with a 10 per cent tuition reduction … and that’s one of the contributing factors that has led to this decision,” Leopold said.

Leopold also said the campus closing in spring 2021 allows the campus’s current cohort of students, which is also the last, to complete their programs.

Humber president Chris Whitaker and former Orangeville Mayor Rob Adams cut the ribbon to re-open Orangeville’s fitness room in 2014. (WireService.ca)

The timing also coincides with the end of the lease for the facilities in the Alder Street Community Centre which the campus occupies.

“When we made the decision to close the campus, we then had to look at what would be the best situation or best scenario for closing a campus,” Leopold said.

The Orangeville campus only had two full-time faculty, but Leopold said their jobs will not be lost because of the closure, and will instead be offered new roles.

Leopold said the college is now doing all it can to allow students to complete their programs.

Among the programs offered by the Orangeville campus are the Social Services and Early Childhood Education programs. Leopold said other institutions have told Humber they are willing to fill the gap.

“Georgian College will also be offering some programs in Orangeville come fall 2020,” he said.