Friday, May 27, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily


Faculty Passes No Confidence Vote against St. Joseph’s Univ. Financial Executives

After consecutive years of mounting financial shortfalls, the provost of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia was dismissed Tuesday and the faculty senate passed a vote of no confidence and asked for the resignations of Louis Mayer, vice president of financial affairs, and John Smithson, senior vice president, according to The Hawk.

Faculty Senate president Robert Moore, Ph.D, reportedly said that Brice Wachterhauser, Ph.D., the provost, was dismissed.

The Faculty Senate’s resolution, which was reportedly passed unanimously with four abstentions, stated that Mayer was asked to resign because of his “failure to responsibly or effectively manage the Office of Financial Affairs, and a loss of confidence in the Office of Financial Affairs across the university.”

Smithson was called to resign for his “failure to provide direct and sound explanations for decisions, and provide supporting evidence in the form of credible data.”

“This is a sad day for the university community and the faculty in particular,” said Moore. “This is an action, as seen here in evidence, that is widely supported.”

The Jesuit university saw a shortfall in 2013 of $8 million while fiscal year 2014 saw a shortfall of $8.7 million. This shortfall led to a decision to enroll 1,500 students in the fall, which would make it the largest freshman class ever at the university.

The student newspaper last week reported concerns among students that degrees from the institution would lose value because of the increased enrollment. Some faculty members also said they were concerned that more students would leave less time for research.

Susan Liebell, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, said in the student newspaper that more time to research benefits the classroom experience for students. “It just makes me a little more interesting, because I learned something new, I did something new, and then I bring it into the classroom,” she reportedly said.

Saint Joseph’s is not the only Jesuit institution falling on hard times.

Marquette University recently announced more than 100 job sat the Jesuit University in Milwaukee, Wis., were expected to be dropped in an attempt to minimize tuition increases and spending. Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, is suffering such a severe budgetary shortfall that it announced it was laying off 31 employees and not seeking to fill 20 other vacant jobs. Loyola University New Orleans saw its freshman enrollment numbers plummet this academic year so drastically that the University announced a hiring freeze.

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