Howard Payne University cancels partnership with Ranger College on nursing program


BROWNWOOD, Texas - Howard Payne University announced on Friday that it's ending a partnership with Ranger College that allowed students with an associate degree in nursing to obtain their bachelor's at HPU.

HPU President Dr. Bill Ellis said in a statement his two primary reasons for dissolving the agreement were lack of student interest and confusion regarding the school's stance on Ranger College's effort to make Brown County a taxing district.

"As part of our university's culture of assessment, we regularly evaluate the ways we deliver course offerings and other programs," Dr. Ellis said. "After being in place for a full year without any students, it is obvious to us that this collaborative agreement is not of interest to students."

The program, created in 2016, gave Ranger College students the opportunity to live on the HPU campus, participate in the university's student life activities, and apply for admission to HPU's Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

Ellis also said he expressed concern that the agreement was being misconstrued as an "endorsement by HPU of Ranger College's tax referendum, which is not the case."

"Based on these issues, HPU has decided the best course of action is to dissolve the formal agreement," Ellis said.

Citizens in three counties, including Brown, will get to vote in November on whether to allow Ranger College to become a taxing entity for their county.

HPU announced in July it will try again to launch a nursing school and has hired a dean, Dr. Nina Ouimette.

The school previously canceled its nursing program in May of 2016, which is the subject of a lawsuit filed this year by nine former students.

Each one is asking for $200,000 to $1 million in damages.

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