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College Of St. Rose Faces Further Cuts

Jackie Orchard

Saying major structural changes need to be made to stay afloat, the College of St. Rose in Albany plans to cut more faculty.

The private college announced Thursday it will cut $6 million dollars from its $71 million dollar budget, citing financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interim President Marcia White met with the Representative Committee of the Faculty to review which academic programs could be cut.

“But it wouldn’t impact any programs until later the following year,” White said. “Loss of faculty positions wouldn’t take effect until December 2021.”

White says she is not worried about insolvency because the college is being proactive about budget cuts.

“We have already cut $8 million from our administrative costs,” White said. “We have phased in early retirement for faculty, we’ve frozen our pension plan, we’ve frozen or eliminated a number of positions.”

The college recently eliminated 20 administrators and staff and 50 other vacant positions. St. Rose, which will mark its 100th anniversary in September, has about 4,000 students and 520 faculty, staff, and administrators.

Due to COVID-19 closures and having to send students home, St. Rose suffered significant revenue losses from on-campus housing and a shrinking pool of applicants, like many other colleges across the country. In a statement, the private college said tight times come with the realization that “Saint Rose cannot be all things to all people,” and that the college will invest in programs that meet the needs of the times — like its 2-in-4 program, where students can earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years, and the return of a nursing degree program.

The college has come under fire in recent months after the Instagram account “Black at Saint Rose” raised hundreds of claims of racial discrimination and sexual violence at the school. White says the claims are under investigation.

“We’re developing a task force that will deal with the reporting and next steps,” White said. “We have appointed Yolanda Caldwell, she is the point person, to be dealing with conversations and partnerships with both bringing the faculty, the students, and administration together.”

White says she still plans to hire someone to replace the former director of diversity.

“So it’s a position that was already part of the administration,” White said. “But we will be doing a national search for that position – yes, we are.”

White says there is a new website for students who want to launch a complaint about discrimination at Saint Rose. Students can file anonymously or request an investigation or mediation of the incident.

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