Saint Joseph's President Details What's Next

Posted: Updated:
Prior to coming to Saint Joseph's in 2015, Pastoor held leadership positions at the University of San Diego, Carroll College in Montana and Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. Prior to coming to Saint Joseph's in 2015, Pastoor held leadership positions at the University of San Diego, Carroll College in Montana and Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland.

As Saint Joseph's College President Robert Pastoor meets today with faculty, staff and students following Friday's board of trustees decision to suspend campus operations, he says "nothing concrete" could reverse the decision. "I think the best thing for the college at this particular point is to go through the suspension and regroup and re-engineer the institution out of its debt issues," Pastoor tells Inside INdiana Business, "and try to basically be resurrected almost as a new kind of institution." That burden he says, would fall upon the leaders "left behind" in the wake of the campus closing June 1.

Pastoor became president in March 2015, and when he first accepted the job, he says he was unaware of the full scope of the college's financial problems. "I've been working in higher education for over 35 years and mostly at small colleges, so I understand there are always financial issues in private higher education, especially at small schools. So I was aware of some issues facing the college financially," he said in an interview with Inside INdiana Business. "I don't think that anybody was really aware -- until time elapsed here -- of the magnitude of the issues that the college faces. Some of it is built-in: it's debt, it's deferred maintenance, those kind of things that every college has to deal with it. And then the rest of it has to deal with enrollment and fundraising, so I would say that no, I did not have a complete picture of it, but I certainly was aware that there were financial issues facing the college."

Pastoor says the college has been working toward monetizing some college-owned assets to help off-set some financial obligations. Those efforts, he said fell short of what was needed by SJC, and the board decided to retain the assets. In a letter last week, Pastoor outlined $100 million needed for the school to stay around. It would've been able to continue for another year if $20 million could be secured by the end of the semester. The university owns one particular property that has been estimated to be worth up to $75 million, but it cannot be sold by SJC and must be used only for agricultural or wind energy uses. The land is held in a trust that is controlled by SJC and The Mayo Clinic. Pastoor says SJC has had discussions with The Mayo Clinic over a potential agreement that could benefit SJC's financial situation. He says "the money they offered was simply not enough." A source with intimate knowledge of the discussion told Inside INdiana Business the offer was valued at $15 million.

Pastoor says today's discussions will offer an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to vent their frustrations and ask questions. "I'm not sure that we're going to have all the answers that they're looking for, but we certainly can provide some information to help them begin to understand what we're going to do during this transition time to help them. And I think that's the primary message is that all of us are committed to working -- particularly with the students -- in finding other schools to go to, even though that's a difficult thing for them to get their heads around right now, he says." The university is also working with the faculty and staff on assistance for their next career move.

Pastoor says, when he accepted the job, he was unaware of the full scope of the college's financial problems.
  • Perspectives

    • (photo courtesy of Conexus)

      Getting the Word Out About Manufacturing & Logistics

      As the epicenter of the nation’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries, Indiana has a compelling story to tell about how Hoosier companies make and move the goods people depend on every day. Our goal is to ensure everyone hears these stories – many of which share a common theme focused on cutting-edge technologies that are transforming the way products are made and moved around the world and the people who use them. Conexus Indiana launched an...



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Parkview Heart Institute is part of the Parkview Health System

      Most Wired Hospitals in Indiana Ranked

      A national association of healthcare information executives has once again honored Fort Wayne-based Parkview Health for its commitment to using advanced technologies in their clinical and business operations. The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives says Parkview is ranked in the 97th percentile of organizations surveyed for the program, earning a “Most Wired” distinction. 

    • (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Historic Hospital to be Torn Down in Gary

      A building that once represented the racial divide in the city of Gary, but long provided health care to the African American community, will soon fall to a wrecking ball. The city says it intends to raze the long-abandoned St. John’s Hospital. 

    • (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo Approves Plan to Level Mansion, Build New Homes

      The property where an aged, Victorian-era, mansion in Valparaiso currently stands will become the site of 15 new homes, described as “upscale.” The Valparaiso Board of Zoning Appeals approved the variances needed for Downtown Valparaiso Partners LLC to proceed with the project, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana. 

    • The Honda Greensburg plant opened in 2008.

      Honda to Invest $4M, Add Jobs at Greensburg Plant

      The American Honda Motor Co. continues to invest in its Greensburg, Indiana plant as it has announced the factory will be producing the company’s first electrified sport utility vehicle in the U.S. The company says it will invest more than $4 million and add 34 new jobs in the plant to support production of the CR-V Hybrid.  

    • Photo courtesy of Purdue University

      Purdue Offers 'Stranger Things' Replica Tee

      Purdue University has partnered with trademark licensing agent CLC to produce a special-edition replica Purdue shirt that appeared on an episode of Netflix’s “Stranger Things 3.”  The university also teamed up with Venley to accurately replicate the shirt, which will be available at retailers on the West Lafayette campus and online later this month.