A change of administration because of the illness of the president, Sidney Brownsberger, had brought in a gradual change in policies. G. I. Butler reported in the Review:
The board of directors whom the stockholders placed in control found themselves powerless to hold in check these influences. . . . A majority of the faculty, sustained by a large portion of the church, threatened to resign in a body if certain measures taken by the board were not retracted. Mass meetings of the students were held to sustain their favorites in the faculty. . . . The board virtually had nothing to do with the management of the college for months during the past year. . . .
The tide ran so high that those teachers who had done most in founding the college lost their influence, and were looked upon with dislike. Their lot was made very hard, and stories were circulated against some of them which were calculated to ruin their reputation as Christians, and even as moral men, and these have been circulated through the land (RH, Sept. 12, 1882).
Faced with these conditions and unable to see the possibility of operating "such a school as the Lord had shown we ought to have," "the board finally [during the summer recess] decided to close the college" with no definite plan to reopen (ibid.). It was a sad day.