- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - A private Christian university is abandoning its plans to open another campus in order to concentrate on its Phoenix location as it tries to change its business model.

Grand Canyon University spokesman Bob Romantic said the school will revisit the possibility of adding a second Mesa campus in the future, the Arizona Republic reports (https://bit.ly/1VHaT3L ).

“We have great partners with the other universities throughout Mesa, so I think there’s still lots of opportunities for higher education for our citizens,” said Mesa Councilman Kevin Thompson, whose district includes the proposed campus. “But I think having GCU here would’ve been another notch on the belt that would’ve been great for Mesa.”

University officials are considering reverting the for-profit school to a nonprofit model. GCU was founded by the Southern Baptist Church as a private, Christian institution in 1949. It became a publicly traded company in 2008.

Officials announced plans in 2013 for a 100-plus-acre campus in east Mesa. The campus would have emphasized science, technology, engineering and math, and was projected to attract up to 10,000 students.

“All of this was occurring at the same time that it would’ve been necessary for them to provide a lot of capital to build the 100-acre campus in Mesa,” Mesa Mayor John Giles said. “My understanding is that … the timing was just not working for them.”


Information from: The Arizona Republic, https://www.azcentral.com

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