School Signs Agreement with Unification Church
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ The University of Bridgeport has closed a deal to give control of the troubled school to a group linked with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, officials said Friday.
The Professors World Peace Academy will give the university $50.5 million in cash and tuition revenues over the next five years in exchange for control of the board of trustees. The peace academy, a New York-based academic arm of the Unification Church, receives 90 percent of its funding from the church.
Trustees of the 65-year-old private university approved the takeover April 25 after turning down a similar offer last fall. The trustees faced a $22 million debt and shrinking enrollment - down from a high of 9,100 in 1967 to about 2,300 now.
School officials say the peace academy has promised the university full academic freedom.
University President Edwin Eigel Jr., who will keep his job under the takeover, said Friday the university will continue to recruit students in the United States, while the peace academy will focus on international recruitment. He expected few of the students would be Unification Church members.