Budgetary shortfalls at two Jesuit colleges are forcing some drastic decisions including layoffs and hiring freezes, according to news reports.
The Cincinnati Business Courier is reporting that Xavier University in Ohio is suffering such a severe budgetary shortfall that it is laying off 31 employees and not seeking to fill 20 other jobs which are currently vacant.
Those 51 jobs reportedly represent about 5% of the jobs at the Jesuit university, according to Cincinnati.com. No professors were laid off.
This was not an easy decision for President Fr. Michael Graham who sent a letter to the campus community explaining what he called a “tough” decision. “I am sure that some will question whether we have compromised the Jesuit identity of Xavier University because the principle of cura personalis, the care of the person, is so very central to that tradition. I confess that I have pondered that myself,” wrote Fr. Graham. “And yet, the Jesuit tradition has always sought to balance cura personalis with cura apostolica, the care and continuation of the work. It was in that balance that I made these difficult decisions.”
XU is receiving a record number of freshmen this year but has reportedly had problems retaining students. Reportedly, the job cuts will save about $800,000.
Loyola New Orleans on the other hand saw its freshman enrollment numbers plummet this year, coming up almost 300 students short of where they expected to be this coming year. The university announced a hiring freeze, according to Inside Higher Education.
“The nation’s economy has had a difficult time these past few years, and a lot of people don’t have the confidence to pay these high tuition prices,” Father Wildes said in an interview. Loyola New Orleans charges $48,700 for tuition, room and board.
Tuition is much lower at many of the Newman Guide colleges and many seem to be enjoying record enrollment. Many parents are unwilling to pay an extraordinary amount of money only to have their children’s faith undermined.
As The Cardinal Newman Society reported earlier this year, Ave Maria University just got a thumbs up from Standard and Poor's Rating Services which stated that the faithful Catholic college has a “stable outlook” with record enrollment numbers and increasing student retention rates.
Benedictine College, after years of record breaking enrollments, just broke ground on their tenth and eleventh new residence halls since 2000.
Many other Newman Guide colleges are seeing similar success.
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