As part of a multi-year financial plan for the College’s long-term financial sustainability, the Saint Rose Board of Trustees has approved a plan to reduce academic expenses by $5.97 million, including the closure of 16 unique bachelor’s degrees, six unique master’s degrees, and three certificate programs. Current students enrolled in these programs will be able to finish their degrees and will receive individualized degree completion plans. No new students will be enrolled in the programs scheduled for closure.
These decisions impact 10% of undergraduate students and 4% of the graduate students enrolled at Saint Rose. The College currently offers 109 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and advanced certificates and has 3,774 undergraduate and graduate students and a total budget of $71 million.
“It is no secret that weighty financial challenges are pressing on colleges and universities throughout the country. The higher education sector is in a period of real transformation. We are being proactive by making hard decisions now, as painful as they are,” said Interim President Marcia White. “These decisions are necessary to the long-term future of Saint Rose and come as part of a series of difficult choices we have had to make this year in order to have a balanced budget by 2023.”
Many of the programs have declining or historically low enrollment. Other degree or certificate programs were eliminated because the cost to maintain them was higher than the revenue generated by enrollment.
Other savings included in the nearly $6 million in reductions are overhead costs, curricular and co-curricular adjustments, and the Distinguished Professor Program, a retirement incentive for full-time faculty with 20 years or more of service.
Earlier this year, the College made $8 million in administrative and staff expense reductions including layoffs, salary reductions, and freezing the staff pension plan.
The program closures will eliminate 33 of the College’s 151 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty positions in December 2021. In addition, eight full-time visiting faculty on annual contracts will not be renewed.
“These changes mean the loss of academic programs that are of high quality, valuable to society, and a significant part of the College’s history. Sadly, after much thought and extensive analysis, we have made the determination that we can no longer afford to maintain them,” White said.
White and other College administrators worked with the Representative Committee of the Faculty (Rep Com) over the last several months developing the expense reduction plan. Discussions included the importance of maintaining the integrity of the College’s educational mission while taking the steps needed to ensure the College’s financial stability.
“These programs have enriched the lives of all of us at the College in some way, but in order for Saint Rose to continue living its mission, we must arrive at a sustainable budget. Carrying a structural deficit makes it nearly impossible for Saint Rose to weather storms like COVID-19, which handed us millions of dollars in revenue loss in one year. We need to build a stronger base – one where operating expenses and revenue align – in order to meet current challenges in higher education and the challenges yet to come,” said Jeff Stone, chair of the Saint Rose Board of Trustees.
The programs approved for closure by the board of trustees are:
1. Design Media Arts (BS)
2. Graphic Design (BFA)
3. Studio Art (BFA)
4. Studio Art (BS)
5. Music (BA)
6. Music Performance (BM)
7. Music Education K-12 (BS)
8. Mathematics (BA)
9. Mathematics: Adolescence Education (BS and BS/MSED in Special Education)
Science and Technology
10. Biology-Cytotechnology (BS)
11. Biology: Adolescence Education (BS and BS/MSED in Special Education)
12. Chemistry (BS)
13. Medical Technology (BS)
14. Information Technology (BS and BS/MS)
15. Financial Planning (BS and BS/MBA)
16. Business Economics (BS)
Business Administration: Financial Planning Concentration
Business Administration: Accounting and Audit Concentration
1. Higher Ed Leadership and Administration (MSED)
2. College Student Services Administration (MSED)
3. Literacy grade 5-12 (MSED)
4. Literacy birth-12 grade (MSED)
Business and Technology
5. Business Analytics (MS)
6. Information Technology (MS)
1. Financial Planning Advanced Certificate
2. Literacy birth-grade 12 Advanced Certificate
3. Quality Control in Higher Education Advanced Certificate
These changes will not impact the Saint Rose mission of graduating students with critical thinking and writing skills and a deep understanding of how to look at the challenges of our world through the lens and construct of social justice.
In recent years, Saint Rose has relaunched its Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and launched undergraduate degrees in sales management and cybersecurity, a Master of Science in Social Work, a new delivery model for its MBA called the Flex MBA, and 2-in-4 programs, which allow students to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years, saving them time and money.
“Our College community has proven its resilience, and with these changes, we will continue to do so,” White said. “Just as our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, met the needs of the times when they established the College 100 years ago, we are doing the same today by aligning our academic programs to meet the career needs of our current and future students.”
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