- Associated Press - Saturday, January 7, 2017

MADISON, Miss. (AP) - Tulane University is planning to close its campus in central Mississippi.

University President Michael A. Fitts and the dean of continuing studies, Suri Duitch, emailed students Thursday to say the School of Continuing Studies in the Jackson suburb of Madison will close at the end of the spring semester. The change awaits approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, The Clarion-Ledger reported (https://on.thec-l.com/2j09mdN).

Fitts and Duitch said the closure would allow the School of Continuing Studies “to focus more attention on its New Orleans and Gulf Coast campuses, and on online programs, where we believe there are great opportunities for our current and future students.”

The Madison campus opened in 2010. Jackson State University also has a Madison campus.

Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler did not return calls to the newspaper Friday.

In 2013, when JSU announced plans to open a Madison campus, Butler and Tulane University officials petitioned the state College Board to rescind what they called the “premature” approval of JSU’s expansion into the suburb. Butler said at the time that the city wanted to make sure that JSU would not compete for students with Tulane, which opened a Madison branch after the city approached the New Orleans university about putting a branch there.

“We worked very hard to get one of the top 50 universities in this city, and I don’t want to see anything detrimental to their success,” Butler said in January 2013.

Tulane’s email about the Madison closure said students have several options that may include taking online courses at the university’s School of Continuing Studies, continuing at another SCS campus or transferring to another institution.

Belhaven University in Jackson has agreed to match tuition at the School of Continuing Studies.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com

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