Saint Rose President Marcia White sent the following message was sent to Saint Rose students, employees, and alumni on December 16, 2021:
Recently a court decision was made regarding an employment-related lawsuit filed by four music faculty members following the program reductions announced in December 2020. The College is disappointed in the court’s decision. We are confident in the integrity of our process and will file an appeal.
The court’s decision does not change the program reductions that were announced in December 2020, impacting 10% of undergraduate students and 4% of the graduate students. The teach out plans will remain in place for the students in the eliminated programs.
The court’s decision is related only to the four faculty members who filed the lawsuit. Until the matter can be heard by the appellate court, the College will comply with the court’s decision in this employment matter. Out of respect for this ongoing legal matter, we will not be able to offer more detail or comment at this time.
As we said at the time of the announcement, the program reductions meant the loss of academic programs that were of high quality, valuable to society, and a significant part of the College’s history. They were part of a series of difficult choices made collaboratively and approved by the Board of Trustees that were necessary to the long-term sustainability of the College. Those choices were not made lightly, and we understand how difficult the last year has been, especially for those most directly affected.
Saint Rose has an important role to play in the future of Albany, the Capital Region, and all the communities far and wide that are ultimately made better by our graduates. We are a strong community and will continue to move forward together and serve the students of today and tomorrow.
Marcia White ’00
In addition to President White’s message to the College community, the College is providing a series of FAQs.
Does this mean the programs that were eliminated are back?
No. The judge’s decision was specific to the employment of the four music faculty members who filed the suit. It does not change the program reductions announced in December 2020. Teach out plans remain in place for those impacted by the program reductions.
What about the other faculty positions that were eliminated in the program reductions?
The court’s decision does not impact those position eliminations. It only applies to the four music faculty members who filed the lawsuit.
What is the College going to do next?
The College is confident in the integrity of the process used in the academic program reductions, which led to the elimination of those faculty positions. The College will appeal the judge’s decision. Until the matter can be heard by the appellate court, the College will comply with the court’s decision in this employment matter.
Does this mean the process was not right?
The judge’s decision is specific to elimination of the positions of the four faculty who filed the lawsuit. It is an employment-related ruling. The judge’s decision does not affect the process that was used to eliminate or reduce programs.
What will those professors be teaching?
There have been no decisions made about that at this time. Until an appeal can be heard by the appellate court, the College will comply with the court’s decision in this employment matter.
Does this impact the music industry faculty or music industry students?
All current music industry students will continue under the current music industry program requirements, as outlined in the current catalog on the College’s website. In addition, the music industry faculty will continue to teach at Saint Rose.
Does this impact students who were affected by the program reductions?
No. Teach out plans for impacted students will continue. The College did not enroll new students in these programs in Fall 2021 and will continue to not enroll new students in those programs. For a list of programs impacted by the December 2020 announcement, please see the original announcement.
How many students remain from all eliminated programs?
Eighty-nine of the students in all the eliminated programs have graduated since the December 2020 announcement. Seventy-seven students are currently enrolled for the Spring 2022 semester as they work to fulfill their teach out plans.