Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) will shut down on May 31 after legislation to give the financially distressed college a $30 million loan stalled in the Alabama House.

The bill passed the Senate by a 22-5 margin on March 5 but didn’t have nearly as much support in the House. The legislation by State Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) would’ve replaced Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer as the administrator of a $30 million loan program designed to bail out "distressed institutions of higher education," such as BSC. 

Boozer denied a $30 million state loan to bail the private school out last year after legislators passed the Distressed Institutions of Higher Education Revolving Loan Program and appropriated $30 million in the 2023 legislative session for BSC. 

Montgomery County Circuit Judge James Anderson dismissed a lawsuit filed by BSC in October against Boozer after he denied the loan.

“After many hours of thoroughly reviewing and investigating the information provided by Birmingham-Southern, I stand by my decision to deny using Alabama taxpayer dollars for a loan to an institution which I believe has been grossly mismanaged for many years. It is beyond distressed,” Boozer said in a February 1819 News op-ed.

State Sen. Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham) told 1819 News on Tuesday, "It's a tragedy for our state, for our county, for our city."

"We're going to lose $100 million a year of economic impact in this county and this city. You've got people that are going to lose their jobs as well. The businesses from the surrounding area they're going to suffer tremendously as well. Of course, all because the Treasurer would not approve (the loan)," Smitherman said.

According to a press release from the college, BSC’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Tuesday to close the school down

“This is a tragic day for the College, our students, our employees, and our alumni. But it is also a terrible day for Birmingham, for the neighborhoods who have surrounded our campus for more than 100 years, and for Alabama,” BSC Board chair Rev. Keith Thompson said in a statement on Tuesday. “Through this challenging year and a half, we have talked a lot about BSC’s more than $90 million annual economic impact on Alabama, with $68 million of that right here in our city. But beyond that loss–which is enormous–the loss of a nationally ranked liberal arts college that has contributed so much to this state and to the world–and still had so much to give–is incalculable.”

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