Leaders of Iowa Wesleyan University say more than a dozen organizations are interested in partnering with the small private school in Mount Pleasant, after it nearly shut down last year due to a lack of funds.

A school oversight board is reviewing the proposals. It’s not clear what a partnership would look like but Iowa Wesleyan President Steven Titus warns, the university can no longer survive as it was.

“There’s much more of this going on across the country than people might imagine,” Titus says. “The climate within the sector of higher education is one that is receptive to mergers, partnerships.”

Administrators are trying to chart a new future for the school, which they say could entail transformational change. Titus says he’s encouraged by the interest the university is seeing.

“For profit, not-for-profit, educational, non-educational, domestic, international,” Titus says. “I think that diversity of proposals was a really interesting experience.”

Like other small private schools across the U.S., Iowa Wesleyan is grappling with rural population loss, overhead costs and student financial needs. Because it’s a private university, leaders are releasing limited details.

Thanks to Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio