Deal could secure Lambuth University's future

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

JACKSON, TN (WMC-TV) - A deal may soon be in place that could keep cash-strapped Lambuth University open as a non-profit school.

Lambuth University faculty members say they're dedicated to staying open, despite their recent tough financial times.

"Actually we've never gone without a paycheck," faculty member Joy Austin said Wednesday. "We were late with our paychecks last year. I don't think we went past two weeks. We were always paid."

Lambuth leaders say the university's board recently gave approval for the sale of Lambuth's assets to investors from all over the country.   

"The group came forward and said, 'We want Lambuth. We want your campus. We want everything it stands for and represents. What do we need to get this done?'" Lambuth spokesperson Mickey Goodwin said.

University officials say, despite a small decrease in enrollment last year, Lambuth's summer school program is filling fast.  School leaders are also working to maintain their long standing relationship with the Methodist church.

"We're still accredited," Goodwin said. "We're still open for business - business as usual, all things moving forward."

For Joy Austin and others, nothing is going to stand in the way of keeping Lambuth alive for generations to come.

Friday, a Lambuth spokesperson said the school is not selling all its assets, but is working on a plan that would create a joint venture between investors and the University.  University officials say they have the financial support necessary to move forward in the years to come.

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