MacMurray College closure FAQ

March 27, 2020

Why is MacMurray College closing?
MacMurray College had no viable financial path forward in the wake of declining enrollments, rising competitive costs, and an insufficient endowment. Those forces are putting increasing financial pressure on all private, small liberal arts colleges.  

When will MacMurray close?
MacMurray will close in May, at the end of the spring term.

Who made the decision to close MacMurray?
The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to close the MacMurray at the end of the semester in May.

What did the Board do to avoid closing MacMurray?
The Board of Trustees has been working with higher education foundations and state and federal legislators for any relief, grants, or extra funding to keep the doors open. The Board also appointed a faculty and staff team to work with the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges to create a new and sustainable business model. The new model would have broadened MacMurray’s professional degree programs and reached more non-traditional students, but after extensive efforts MacMurray was unable to secure the capital to fund the new model. 

How much did the coronavirus pandemic impact the Board’s decision and MacMurray’s financial condition?
The coronavirus pandemic and economic disruption it has caused were recent factors that complicated MacMurray’s financial condition, but they were not the principal reasons for the Board’s decision to close.

What will happen to the campus, buildings, furniture, equipment and other assets?
MacMurray officials are in the process of negotiating with lenders, vendors and others to ensure an organized, efficient closure process. Closing an institution like MacMurray will involve countless decisions grounded in financial realities. As decisions involving students, faculty, staff and alumni are reached, more information will be available and posted on the MacMurray website. (

What happens to MacMurray seniors who expect to graduate in May?
Students who are able to complete all degree requirements during the spring 2020 semester should be eligible to complete their degree at MacMurray.

Will MacMurray hold a graduation ceremony?
MacMurray has not made a decision on commencement, which is scheduled for May 9, but will do so as soon as possible and will be guided by orders from state authorities regarding public health and public gatherings.

What happens to other MacMurray students who are not scheduled or eligible to graduate this semester?
Freshman, sophomores, juniors or other students who are not eligible to graduate in May will be referred to a partner institution for completion of their degrees. Students may also choose to transfer to another school of their choice. In either scenario, MacMurray will help all students make a smooth transition.

What are the partner institutions that would accept MacMurray transfer students?
MacMurray has negotiated transfer agreements for its students with the following institutions, all of which are within a two-hour driving radius of its Jacksonville campus: Blackburn College, Eureka College, Greenville University, Illinois College, McKendree University, Millikin University, and Monmouth College.

What happens to academic credits students earned at MacMurray?
As an accredited institution, all academic credits earned at MacMurray will be valid even after the College has closed.

What happens to scholarships and financial aid students are receiving?
Scholarships and financial aid will still be valid at MacMurray through the spring 2020 semester. Students who transfer to another school each have unique circumstances and will receive financial and academic counseling from the school they chose to attend next fall on an individual basis.

How many full-time employees does MacMurray have?
MacMurray has 101 full-time employees.

When will be the last day of employment for faculty and staff?
The official date of termination for most employees will be Monday, May 25, which is the end of a required 60-day notification period that will begin on Monday, March 30. 

Will any employees be involved in closure operations?
A limited number of employees will be approached about continuing employment beyond May 25 to help close the College.

Will MacMurray provide employment search assistance, career counseling or other resources?
Yes, MacMurray will work with any member of the faculty and staff to help them find employment and is working to provide career counseling services and coaching.

When will health insurance, retirement plan and other benefits end for faculty and staff?
MacMurray is working to extend health insurance coverage. Most employees who are benefit-eligible will retain their current benefits through May. Employer contributions to employee accounts would continue through an employees’ separation date. MacMurray’s Human Resources Department is prepared to work with individual employees to address their specific questions.

About MacMurray College:
MacMurray College is an independent, four-year college with a strong liberal arts tradition, committed to preparing graduates for satisfying and productive professional careers. Its 60-acre campus is located in west central Illinois in the city of Jacksonville, about 30 miles west of Springfield. MacMurray College provides an accessible and affordable education to students of all ages and backgrounds, offering online and blended courses, undergraduate as well as adult learner courses, and offering financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships to 98% of students. Founded in 1846 by Methodist clergy as the Illinois Conference Female Academy, MacMurray College is one of the oldest institutions of higher education originally for women in the United States and one of the oldest private liberal arts colleges in the State of Illinois.

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