Unanswered questions about ECU's Ardmore withdrawal - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Unanswered questions about ECU's Ardmore withdrawal

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ARDMORE, Okla. -- Last month, East Central University made the surprise announcement that it will no longer offer classes at the University Center of Southern Oklahoma in Ardmore.

ECU blamed a budget shortfall, but UCSO now maintains that's not accurate.

Donors backing the new, state-of-the-art campus in Ardmore said they agreed to make up for any losses suffered by ECU, but the Ada-based university declined the offer.

"It wasn't the money," said University Center trustee Gary Farabough. "We had ... basically a blank check to pay the two years."

Melissa Burroughs had been planning to attend ECU's nursing program at the UCSO campus. Now she says she is out of options.

"Finding out that they turned down a large sum of money, I really have no idea," she said. "I wish they would work it out, or even if the University Center will just bring somebody new in. That would be extremely helpful for students here."

UCSO students
Students at the University Center of Southern Oklahoma campus in Ardmore. (KTEN)

A number of donors -- including the City of Ardmore -- also expressed concern over East Central's withdrawal.

"The decision to pull the program from Ardmore seemed to have already been made before the meeting that was together with the community leaders," said Assistant City Manager Kevin Boatright.

Now a number of people in the area who invested in University Center's new building are left looking for answers.

"I honestly couldn't imagine what an issue could be," Farabough said. "Why anyone would withdraw from such an opportunity? To have their university here in Ardmore, in this building?"

In July, ECU told KTEN that they are committed to their current Ardmore students, and will let them complete their degree there. We are reaching out to East Central to learn more about their decision to decline additional funding from UCSO donors.

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