University of the Arts President resigns amid schools impending closure

University of the Arts President Kerry Walk has resigned just days after the school announced its abrupt closure at the end of the week. 

Walk was named the university's fifth president in 2023, and became the school's first and only female president. 

Officials said University of the Arts had been in a "fragile financial state" like many institutions of higher learning following "many years of declining enrollments, declining revenues, and increasing expenses," but had made progress on improving its position.

Officials at the university — which has offered programs in design, fine arts, media arts, music, dance and theater — said summer courses will be canceled and a new class will not be enrolled in the fall. They vowed to help continuing students transfer to other institutions such as Temple and Drexel universities and the Moore College of Art and Design.


University of the Arts to shut its doors in early June, officials say in surprise announcement

University of the Arts to close its doors in early June, in surprise announcement made by school officials.

"Unfortunately, however, we could not overcome the ultimate challenge we faced: with a cash position that has steadily weakened, we could not cover significant, unanticipated expenses," they said. "The situation came to light very suddenly. Despite swift action, we were unable to bridge the necessary gaps."

Since the university announced its sudden closure, students have held rallies, with some camping out on the school's steps. They say school administration has gone silent and it not communicating adequately about what steps students should take next. Temple University is exploring possible solutions to preserve the university.

The University of the Arts was created from two century-old institutions, the Philadelphia College of Art — established n 1876 as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art — and the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, which both changed names before eventually merging in 1985 and becoming a university two years later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report