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Temple, Drexel working to make transfer process "seamless" for University of the Arts students

University of the Arts alum who was about to join Board of Trustees says University "failed"
University of the Arts alum who was about to join Board of Trustees says University "failed" 02:02

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Several Philadelphia universities are making it clear they're ready to accept University of the Arts students interested in transferring after UArts suddenly announced the school will close on Friday, June 7. 

Temple University and Drexel University both issued statements over the past week offering UArts students paths to transfer in the wake of the closure.

On Tuesday, Temple said school officials are communicating with University of the Arts leadership and exploring every option and potential solution to maintain the legacy of the University of the Arts:

"The closing of the University of the Arts is devastating news, both for the Philadelphia and higher education communities. As Philadelphia's public university, Temple is doing all it can to support the arts and higher education in our city. Our top priority is working to ensure that all UArts students have a path to completing their studies.

This is a fluid situation, and we continue to gather more information in relation to the University of the Arts' sudden closure. We are committed to continuing conversations with UArts representatives to explore all options and possible solutions to preserve the arts and the rich legacy of this 150-year old institution."

The same day the University of the Arts first announced it would close down, Temple said it would offer UArts students a chance to transfer and stay in the city to continue their education.

Temple got the ball rolling on its admissions website by offering a form for additional information requests about the enrollment process for interested transfer students.

Temple's statement about conversations with UArts representatives came hours after the University of the Arts confirmed President Kerry Walk stepped down from her position. Walk, who became the fifth president of UArts in August 2023, has yet to make a public statement about the decision.

Across town, Drexel is also "developing a pathway" to help UArts students transfer "as seamlessly as possible." Drexel added the university, which houses the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, will expand its 50% tuition discount program for community college partners to UArts undergrads.

"We understand how difficult this transition time will be for UArts students and their families," Drexel President John Fry said in a statement. "Drexel's leadership has been in close contact with senior leadership at UArts to offer our assistance to the UArts community and especially the students who can no longer continue their studies at the institution. We have already reached out to current students, first-year students and many high school counselors, and are committed to making enrolling at Drexel for these students as seamless and welcoming as possible."

The University of the Arts closure comes after the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) announced Friday it will withdraw the accreditation of the University of the Arts effective June 1. This decision followed UArts' failure to properly notify MSCHE of its unplanned imminent closure.

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) announced it would end its degree programs at the end of the 2024-25 academic year.  

MSCHE decided to strip the institute of its accreditation due to not complying with the commission's requests for written reports, teach-out plans and more.

Students, faculty and alumni hold out hope for University of the Arts in Philadelphia by CBS Philadelphia on YouTube

Editor's note: This article has been updated with clarified information about PAFA's degree programs.

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