Woodland Hills campus closing after spring semester


Photo contributed by Madison Kosar-Reporter

California Lutheran University’s Woodland Hills campus is set to close spring 2022.

Madison Kosar, Reporter

California Lutheran University is closing their Woodland Hills satellite campus at the end of May, 2022. The current classes offered at the Woodland Hills campus will continue to be held until the end of the 2022 spring semester.  The university will now remain with a total of three satellite campuses located in Westlake Village, Santa Maria and Oxnard.

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Leanne Neilson said there’s a few reasons for closing the Woodland Hills campus, one reason being the lease was up. 

“Secondly we are involved in our strategic planning process which is where we make plans for the next five years for the university, which we want to focus on and so we felt like this was the perfect time to figure out the best locations for us to be offering classes,” Neilson said. 

Bryan Rupley, manager of University Satellite Centers said the university is looking for a new location.

“We are trying to make sure it’s a good fit and not trying to just get a location. We want to make sure our students are happy with the fit,” Rupley said.

Rupley manages the Woodland Hills, Oxnard, and Westlake Village locations. Rupley said decisions are still being made in regards to the Woodland Hills campus. 

Professor and Dean of School of Management Gerhard Apfelthaler, said there is an importance behind having the Woodland Hills location.

“The valley is an important area for prospective students for us. There’s a lot of economic growth going on in the San Fernando valley so we want to be part of that,” Apfelthaler said. 

He also said that Cal Lutheran will still try to remain present in the valley area, as Apfelthaler believes that the building was just a building, and that more could be done to engage with the surrounding community. 

“That’s something that the location itself never really did for us anyways. It’s more about the activities that you engage in,” Apfelthaler said. 

The Woodland Hills facility was primarily used for graduate programs, including the School of Management.

“In the past, we have taught Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Policy Administration classes over there,” Apfelthaler said. 

Apfelthaler said that the enrollment was never consistent given the nature of graduate programs.

Neilson said the Graduate School of Education program has been successful in the Woodland Hills area. For this reason, they want to continue offering classes in that vicinity, but at another location. The location is still to be determined.

For the School of Management, Apfelthaler said the transition will be fairly easy.

“Of course it sounds very dramatic to give up a campus location but we have been teaching online at the school of management long before the pandemic started,” Apfelthaler said. 

After the campus closure, students of the School of Management will be redirected to the Westlake Village campus or the Thousand Oaks campus. The School of Management will continue to offer online classes going forward. 

In regards to the faculty and staff, Apfelthaler said most of them commuted from other locations as it was.

“All of our staff members are either in Westlake Village or Thousand Oaks so they had to travel to Woodland Hills. So in a sense, it’s actually an improvement because they won’t have to make the drive,” Apfelthaler said.

Neilson said staff will be relocated to another campus, but the specifics are to be determined.

“We are definitely going to redeploy those positions but we are still looking since the center will be open until May,” Neilson said.

The closing of Cal Lutheran’s Woodland Hills campus is still in the early stages of planning. More information on the subject will be announced at a later date.