Investments to be Made in Every School in the College;
Low- and No-Enrollment Programs to be Discontinued, Affecting 3.8 Percent of Students and 23 Faculty

 

ALBANY (December 11, 2015) — The College of Saint Rose Board of Trustees announced today that it has considered and will move forward with a comprehensive plan to reprioritize academic programs to meet the changing needs of students, increase enrollment, and secure the College’s financial future. As part of this strategy, the College will invest in academic programs in high demand among students and consolidate, reduce, or eliminate certain academic programs that have low or no enrollment.

To serve current and prospective students, The College of Saint Rose will:

  • Invest in high-growth academic programs in each of its four Schools (Lally School of Education, Huether School of Business, School of Mathematics and Sciences, and School of Arts and Humanities), including accounting, communication sciences and disorders, computer science, criminal justice, forensic psychology and forensic science, graphic design, marketing, and music industry. In a shift related to the job market, about 75 percent of Saint Rose students are currently enrolled in about 25 percent of its academic programs. Saint Rose expects to hire additional full-time faculty with relevant qualifications so that it will maintain its traditionally low student-to-faculty ratio, with an average class size of 20.
  • Discontinue certain low- and no-enrollment undergraduate and graduate programs with an average of about four students each, including 12 programs with no students. About 4 percent of Saint Rose students are enrolled in programs to be eliminated. The changes will go into effect a year from now in January 2017. Saint Rose will enable currently enrolled students to complete their undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates regardless of the changes. As of today, no new students will be accepted into the programs that will be discontinued.

The Board-approved plan will result in the elimination of 23 faculty positions effective December 29, 2016. In identifying programs for reduction or elimination and identifying reduction of faculty, the Board of Trustees took into account enrollment levels and trends, as well as other relevant considerations, including curricular needs arising from the College’s degree requirements, accreditation standards, and teacher and other professional licensure requirements. Affected faculty will be eligible to continue teaching at full salary and benefits for the next 12 months and will be offered career transition assistance provided by a firm specializing in higher education outplacement. Those qualified to teach in the College’s 93 remaining degree and certificate programs or new programs will be eligible to apply for vacancies and new positions.

The College emphasized that the liberal education curriculum will remain as the foundation of a Saint Rose undergraduate degree. Liberal arts courses will still be offered and required for all undergraduate students.

“The needs of our students are the essential consideration in all of our decisions, and this plan will overwhelmingly benefit our 4,400 students,” said Judy Calogero, ’80, Chair of the Saint Rose Board of Trustees. “Saint Rose has suffered a 16 percent decline in enrollment since 2008, mainly concentrated in the programs to be discontinued and the departments to be reduced. At the same time, large numbers of students have flocked to academic programs such as computer science, psychology, criminal justice and music industry. The Trustees have a duty to shift financial support to the programs that are in highest demand among our students. To do otherwise would fail our current and prospective students and our responsibility as Trustees of the College.”

Saint Rose President Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco said, “We have thought deeply about and worked very hard to minimize job losses among our faculty. Regrettably, these changes will result in the departure of respected and dedicated colleagues a year from now. While we look forward to the prospect of greater academic opportunities and welcoming more students, we in no way minimize the very real sense of loss that some of these changes will engender, particularly for those individuals and families who are most directly affected. Over the next year, we are committed to doing all we can to help them make a successful transition.’’

The Albany Province Leadership Team of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet said in a statement, “In founding The College of Saint Rose, the local Province of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet recognized that, just as they were responding to a need, fulfilling its mission would forever require the College to be alert and amenable to a changing reality in the larger society, and especially among its current and prospective students … To change and grow, while remaining faithful to its mission to empower critical thinkers with the skills and desire to serve the wider world, the College must pay careful attention to enrollment trends, and from time to time shift resources away from programs that once served large numbers of students toward programs that now do so.”

The academic reprioritization program and the elimination of about $340,000 in full athletic scholarships for new incoming students in Fall 2016 are part of the College’s strategy to eliminate a $9 million deficit and increase enrollment. The College already has eliminated 40 staff and administrative positions and reduced employee benefits, borrowing costs, and other expenses. To increase revenue, the College has stepped up its fundraising and expanded its efforts to recruit students throughout the United States and abroad.

These steps have succeeded. Saint Rose received the largest single unrestricted gift in its history, $1 million, and overall gifts to the College increased 137 percent in the last fiscal year. In 2015, Saint Rose enrolled one of the largest first-year classes in its history, with students drawn from 19 states as well as countries as diverse as Angola, India, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.

Here are the academic programs to be discontinued. Graduate programs are noted with an asterisk:

School of Arts and Humanities

American Studies BA

Art Education K-12 BFA, BS, MSED* and Advanced Certificate*

Communications MA*

English MA* and MFA*

Women’s and Gender Studies BA and Certificate

History/Political Science MA*

Music Education K-12 MSED* and Music Education Advanced Certificate*

Philosophy BA

Religious Studies BA

Spanish BA, Spanish Adolescence Education BA, International Spanish Undergraduate Certificate, Spanish Heritage Speakers Undergraduate Certificate

Studio Art MA*

Huether School of Business

Economics BS

Entrepreneurship BS

Not-for-profit Management Advanced Certificate*

Lally School of Education

Applied Technology Education BS

Educational Technology Specialist Initial MSED* and Professional MSED*

Educational Computing Advanced Certificate*

Instructional Technology MSED* and Advanced Certificate*

Technology Education MSED* and Advanced Certificate*

Educational Psychology Program Evaluation Advanced Certificate*

Business/Marketing Adolescence Education MSED* and Advanced Certificate*

School of Mathematics and Sciences

Bioinformatics BS

Chemistry Adolescent Education BS

Earth Science Adolescent Education BS

Environmental Science BS

Geology BS

Sociology BA

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For More Information, Contact:

Benjamin Marvin
Director of Media Relations