Unfortunately for Baltimore International College, many Baltimoreans are just now hearing of the school for the first time — right as it may be facing an economic meltdown that just might lead it to shut its doors.
If “Baltimore International College” sounds suspiciously like a college that someone just made up (although not quite as much as the University of Maryland University College, which I promise is a real institution), that’s because the culinary/hospitality training school often flies under the radar when local colleges are considered. For one, it’s small: in 2010, BIC awarded 194 degrees. But the school is accredited and non-profit, and offers courses in business and traditional liberal arts, along with advanced pastry making and hotel management. As part of its educational program, the school owns and operates two Baltimore hotels: the Mount Vernon Hotel and the Hopkins Inn, both of which show middling reviews on TripAdvisor.
Or, at least, that’s how things have been going over the past few decades. It’s unclear, though, whether the school will be able to weather the storm of the past few weeks. Over the past few months, the school has been crippled by two situations that threaten to shut it down. This week, BIC was slapped with a lawsuit by its former president, who claims the school has neglected to pay him $5 million in retirement benefits that he’s owed. At the same time, the Commission on Higher Education announced that the school would lose its accreditation as of August 31, making it ineligible to receive federal funding.
According to the Sun, “in a series of scathing reports, evaluators from the Middle States Commission described Baltimore International as an institution with little grasp of how to retain students, measure academic performance or generate revenue from sources other than tuition.”