A North Carolina university is exploring the acquisition of troubled Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville.
Effective Jan. 1, Saint Paul’s will operate under joint management with Saint Augustine’s University, a private liberal-arts school in Raleigh with about 1,500 students.
The announcement followed a meeting Tuesday of the executive committees of the two schools’ boards of trustees to discuss a plan to create a campus of Saint Augustine’s at Saint Paul’s.
Like Saint Paul’s, a financially struggling college suing over loss of accreditation, Saint Augustine’s was founded after the Civil War to educate former slaves.
But Saint Augustine’s, which transitioned from a college to university Aug. 1, is financially viable and focused on growth, said Shelley Willingham-Hinton, the university’s associate vice president for marketing and communications.
The university is seeking “to do what we can to assist a sister institution,” she said.
“We’re just looking to help preserve that legacy of Saint Paul’s. We don’t want to see it completely fold,” she said. “At the same time, this is a business decision that will support the strategic efforts of Saint Augustine’s University.”