Better East Texas: Lon Morris College - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Better East Texas: Lon Morris College

By Pat Stacey

It saddened me to hear of the troubles at Lon Morris College.  The college seems to be going through a slow death, first by laying off or furloughing most of the staff and most recently, the formal announcement that sports programs were being officially suspended.  It is rare that a college would essentially go out of business and while it would be clean to try to pin this on the economy, that just doesn't seem to be the case.  The college business is a tough business, no doubt, but something went wrong at Lon Morris and now a handful of administrators and the Methodist Church are left to try to clean up the mess.  Critics say that rapid expansion and the drive to create a robust athletic program, led by football two years ago, were some of the reasons for the downfall.  But it is hard to imagine that this was just a short term problem.  In fact, a little research shows that the college has been in financial trouble for years with a lot of expenses and not enough revenue to cover the expenses.  And it doesn't seem like steps we taken to curtail spending as the college approached the cliff it careened over.  While this was a business model gone bad, the same condition exists for many households where spending exceeds income and the results are typically the same as Lon Morris' fate.  For the college to rise from the ashes, the business model must be redefined and reborn and this proud institution can rise again and that would make for a Better East Texas.

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