Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rumors Likely True: Cincinnati's HUC Probably Closing

Today's Enquirer reports what many have been saying: that financial problems will likely lead Hebrew Union College to close its historic Cincinnati campus.

HUC also operates in New York, Los Angeles and Jerusalem.

Students quoted in the story complain that the Cincinnati campus houses valuable archives and provides a cheaper cost of living than the coasts.

SWNIDish readers will doubtless register that HUC's Cincinnati campus has been a hotbed of graduate study of the Hebrew Bible for aspiring Christian scholars. In recent years HUC's administration has publicly expressed the tension that has doubtless existed for years over the fact that Christian grad students rival Jewish rabbinic students as the dominant presence on campus.

If the likely event does occur, it will be a loss for Our Fair City and for biblical scholarship.


steve-o said...

The reason I'm puzzled by this is that it seems it would be much more cost efficient to operate out of Cincinnati than in LA or NY. I'd suspect that if they choose either costal location, they'll still struggle to achieve financial viability.

In retrospect, they shouldn't have limited admission of those Christian grad students willing to actually pay tuition.

Unknown said...

Leaving aside the sorrow of the loss of a fine institution, I can't help but wonder about the logistics.

So how does this work? I was under the impression that a lot of their archives are held jointly with UC. Do they move their achives to New York and let UC take the fall? Does UC suddenly become the sole owner of that stuff? Or do they just rip all of the artifacts down the middle and give half to both institutions?

I imagine that UC will try to buy the campus... it's a pretty nice place, and the location is perfect.

Really a shame, though. Just recently I went through their Holocaust museum. They've done a really good job with it.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

If we were the prez of HUC and wanted easier access to donors, we'd leave the 'Nati tomorrow for either or both coasts.

Apparently cost of living doesn't figure much in location decisions these days. Just look at what's happening to all the big coastal cities versus the heartland.

Bobby Warren said...

When I was doing my master's thesis on messianic expectations around the time of Christ, HUC's collection was beneficial.

Sad to hear the news.

Rob said...

Bobby: You look pretty good for a guy who got his Master's degree around the time of Christ.

Save HUC said...

@Jon In fact, HUC has already shifted much of its fund-raising to the coasts.

The decision has not yet been finalized, and you can still have a say. Check out