In a letter to supporters in the past week, University President Andrew Groft outlined a three-fold plan for the future of the university, including the abandonment of the Monticello campus.
“It has become clear that a ‘full scale’ campus simply isn’t going to be viable if located in Monticello,” writes Groft. “The dream of a full-sized campus with beautiful architecture is universally appealing, but we’ve found that our supporters are quite content to wait for a better suited time and location if that’s what is required by the economy.”
“As a result of this research, we’ve decided that the best thing to do is deed back the portion of the Monticello land we were purchasing, and focus the rest of the feasibility study on viable uses of the remaining land donated to us in Monticello.”
George Wythe announced the new university campus in Monticello in 2007. A number of school officials moved to Monticello and began to offer limited classes. The City of Monticello annexed 1,200 acres of ground west and south of the city into the city limits in October 2007.
Official groundbreaking ceremonies for the new campus were held in August 2008. The proposed campus, on several hundred acres of ground west of Monticello, was to house study programs for the organization, which offers a unique series of study programs in “statesmanship.”
The project ran into a number of challenges, including water rights and infrastructure. The international financial crisis was the death knell to a project that would have relied almost entirely on donations and the sale of real estate surrounding the campus.
An aggressive effort to raise up to $1 billion for a university endowment ran into the new realities of the global recession.
The school has been offering courses and degrees in various capacities for nearly 20 years, while headquartered in Cedar City, UT. Limited coursees are being offered at the current time.
The organization has yet to achieve accreditation, which is another focus of Groft’s letter.