U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell and Robert Aderholt met across the aisle Monday in support of keeping Birmingham-Southern College open.
“We don’t always agree on the issues in Washington, but on this we agree: Keeping Birmingham-Southern College open is what’s best for Alabama’s economy. our communities and our students,” Sewell and Aderholt said in the release.
State Treasurer Young Boozer rejected the college’s loan application in October, citing the college as a “terrible credit risk.” The college attempted to challenge the loan denial, saying it amounted to an unconstitutional veto of the program created by the Alabama Legislature in the 2023 session, specifically in response to the urgent needs of the BSC.
But Montgomery Circuit Judge James Anderson dismissed the suit, saying the law clearly gives the treasurer complete discretion over whether to grant a loan.
Aderholt and Sewell wrote a statement urging Boozer to exercise his discretion and reverse his decision.
“We strongly urge Treasurer Boozer to rethink his decision to deny the bridge loan that was designed for this exact situation: to help an Alabama college or university that brings significant value to its community and has been in business for over 50, has sufficient assets to secure the state loan and has a solid plan to repay it,” the two men said.
They cited the college’s economic impact on state and local tax revenues as well as “the intangible value of what BSC brings to our state’s educational landscape.”
“Students and their families want college choices – some are attracted to Alabama’s large public institutions with big football programs and Greek systems,” they said. “Others prefer a more urban environment focused on science or technology. Some want small colleges in small towns. Some seek out HBCUs or schools based on their religious tradition. Some want to get away from home; others want or need to stay close. Some know what they want to study, and others need time and space to explore their options…
“Without BSC, young people who want what BSC offers – a small, nationally ranked residential college in a large Alabama city – will have to go elsewhere. And once they leave, they may not come back.
For now, BSC President Daniel Coleman said he expects the college to be able to at least complete the academic year after concerns were raised last month that the college may have to close its doors at the end of the fall semester.