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Citing Financial Struggles, College Of St. Rose Ending Academic Programs

College of St. Rose in Albany, NY
Jackie Orchard
College of St. Rose in Albany, NY

The College of St. Rose in Albany says it is discontinuing academic programs amid financial struggles. The college said Tuesday evening that its Board of Trustees has approved a plan to reduce expenses by nearly $6 million, including the elimination of 16 bachelor degrees, 6 master’s degrees and three certificate programs. Current students in those programs will be able to finish their degrees, but no new students will be enrolled in the programs. The college says the move affects 10% of its undergraduate students and 4% of graduate students. The moves eliminate 33 of the college’s 151 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty positions in December 2021. Eight full-time visiting faculty on annual contracts will not be renewed.

St. Rose has nearly 3,800 students and an annual 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 in a statement. “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.”

Earlier this year, the school cut $8 million in administrative and staff expense reductions via layoffs, salary reductions, and freezing the staff pension plan.

St. Rose says many of the programs being eliminated have declining or historically low enrollment. 

“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," said Jeff Stone, chair of the Saint Rose Board of Trustees, in a statement. "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." 

The programs approved for closure by the board of trustees are:

Undergraduate programs:
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

Master’s degrees:
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)

Advanced certificates
1. Financial Planning Advanced Certificate
2. Literacy birth-grade 12 Advanced Certificate
3. Quality Control in Higher Education Advanced Certificate

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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