Holy Cross College confident with faith and discipline, the school will bounce back
NOTRE DAME —
Recently, the future of Holy Cross College was uncertain.
In May, an email was leaked to the student body from a former administrator. It said the college was in so much debt that it could possibly close.
Now, administrators are confident the school will bounce back. They say they've produced a balanced budget.
College President, Father David Tyson, says after a summer of hard work they've made a lot of changes this year. He says that email may have been a blessing in disguise.
"I was panicked at first because, ya know, I did just build a whole foundation here,” said Sophomore, I.C. Young III, who had just competed his first year of school at the school when he heard the news.
The college revealed it was in major financial trouble. Father Tyson says it's a capital debt of more than ten-million dollars.
"There was a tremendous amount of debt, no cash flow, and enrollments that were holding but were not going up,” said Father Tyson.
He has the tall task of fixing those problems. He's cut back on administrators by half, now, it's just Tyson and two other vice presidents.
"We've been able to restructure the administration we have entirely new admissions staff," he said.
He's also suspended three academic programs that had low enrollment. Those include the major in computer science, and minors in gerontology and biotechnology
"We're going back to our roots, we really are. It'll be what we do best, which is to offer a very strong, personalized, what I would call liberal arts education ,which includes science,” Father Tyson said.
To bring more students in next year, there's an opportunity for them to get a bachelor's degree in just three years. There will also be a two year program for students who want to transfer. The plans are reassuring to the students I spoke to.
"Just to be able to hear him have a specific plan and to bring in more people and stuff like that I really felt good, like I felt good going to tell people like all this new stuff is happening and we don't really have anything to worry about anymore,” Young said. "It’s a lot of big talk right now but it looks like everything is going the right way."
Even freshmen within the school, don't seem to be too worried.
“The faculty has been really good with everything I just feel like they'll probably get it straightened out pretty soon,” said Mac Flannery.
That faith in the school's future is what gives Father Tyson confidence that this plan will work.
"We have to be more financially disciplined than we were in the past, and I think we can do it and everybody knows it now,” Father Tyson said.
There's some other big changes at the school, too. The University of Notre Dame's campus dining is managing food service at Holy Cross. The school has also withdrawn from its partnership with the Michiana Gerontology Institute.
For more "wiggle room," as Father Tyson calls it, Holy Cross sold about 50 acres of land to Notre Dame in a lease back agreement.