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Benedictine University Eyes Arizona Campus

Benedictine University in west suburban Lisle (Credit: CBS)

Benedictine University in west suburban Lisle (Credit: CBS)

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LISLE, Ill. (STMW) – Benedictine University may be headed west. While the west suburban Lisle institution has no plans to leave town, a proposal up for approval this week could result in the private Catholic nonprofit school establishing a campus in Mesa, Ariz.

Phil Brozynski, Benedictine’s public relations manager, said the plan was initiated by Mesa officials, who last March expressed interest in learning more about BU.

“They’re looking to bring an array of colleges and universities to their area,” which now has relatively few options for higher learning, Brozynski said Friday.

The Mesa City Council is scheduled to vote on a memorandum of understanding Monday evening that would clear the way for Benedictine to lease city-owned campus space downtown.

Brozynski said details about the size of the leased space and other particulars are limited at this point, so it’s hard to gauge how extensive the academic programming will be if the proposal earns a thumbs-up from the council. However, planners aim to build the urban site’s enrollment to 1,500 students within a decade.

In addition to its Springfield campus and satellite sites in Bellwood, Rockford and Peoria, Benedictine has dozens of public and private partners that enable its reach to extend nationwide and overseas. But this would be its most remote brick-and-mortar branch so far.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.