Haslam Asks For $5 Million For State Takeover of Lambuth

The state is moving closer to taking over Lambuth University, a troubled private college in Jackson whose finances have been in turmoil and recently announced it would close in June.

The Jackson Sun reports that Gov. Bill Haslam has asked the legislature to set aside $5 million to enable the University of Memphis to take over the Methodist school, which even the star power of Bill Cosby was unable to save.

Haslam’s request, presented to the Senate Finance Committee, is contingent on Jackson and Madison County officials and other community leaders raising $15 million to $19 million. The locally raised money would be used to pay off Lambuth’s debt — which is about $10 million — and to pay for campus repairs and maintenance needs.

Inside Higher Ed has one of the best Cliffs Notes versions of the school’s meltdown, from its failure to meet payroll, the loss of its accreditation, and various proposals which didn’t pan out to partner with for-profit groups.

The Jackson Sun has posted a timeline tracking the school’s history.