Saint Joseph’s College has released a larger batch of information regarding the steps that led up to the Board of Trustees decision to halt operations in Rensselaer. In an updated online FAQ, President Robert Pastoor says the 125-year-old institution is going through "truly one of the most difficult points in the history of Saint Joseph’s College."
He adds the goal is to "find a way for SJC to overcome the present challenges and be resurrected with its mission intact."
The updated Frequently-Asked Question section covers much of what Inside INdiana Business and other outlets have been reporting since the board’s announcement more than two weeks ago, but also attempts to put into perspective the transition period that will come after this May’s graduation. No decision has been made yet on how long that period will be, but the school says it will start by establishing a transition team to examine a full slate of issues including finances, academics, campus facilities, athletics and faculty and staff.
It also mentions a small group appointed by the board to investigate potential partnerships with other schools that will report its findings to the board by June 30, 2018.
The FAQ section lays out the financial state of the school, including some $27 million in debt, $35 million in anticipated deferred maintenance costs and nearly $14 million in tuition discounts and scholarships awarded each year. It also provides information on questions including:
- How did the college’s debt get so high?
- What research was conducted, and what were the findings, relevant to the Waugh property and its ability to help the college execute its transformation plan?
- Where did the dollars go that were raised in recent years?
- Why did the college’s actions change so suddenly from business-as-usual to closure?
- Is SJC still doing fundraising, i.e. trying to raise $20M by June?
A group of former SJC students had recently mounted a campaign seeking additional information they said was not being provided by the administration or board. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, President Pastoor refuted the alumni group’s assertion that the process has not been transparent.