Officials, Iowa college seek to save one of Alaska’s oldest schools

By Becky Bohrer
Sitka, Alaska (AP) June 2010

One of Alaska’s oldest schools is being sold off piece by historic piece in an effort to avoid bankruptcy.

The process began with Sheldon Jackson College’s abrupt closure three years ago in Sitka. That has caused divisions in the fishing and tourist community in southeast Alaska.

Some want to see the campus left intact, remade perhaps into a tribal or community college.

But some school and local officials don’t see that’s possible.

Officials instead have been working on what could be their last, best option: a proposal by the University of Dubuque in Iowa that centers on Sheldon Jackson’s hatchery, a small corner of the 230-acre campus at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. It also requires the clearing of millions more in debt by selling more assets.