Many hearts were broken all throughout New York and the northeast when news broke that the College of Saint Rose was closing it's doors at the end of this school year. The latest news; however, may offer a glimmer of hope for the institution. Touro University, a New York City-based school, may have a potential solution.

The College of Saint Rose Announces Closure After 104 Years

Back in November, we reported that after 104 years of academia, The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York will be closing. The board of trustees voted on the afternoon of Thursday, November 30th to shut down the school following graduation of the 2023-2024 school year on May 11th, 2024. The College of Saint Rose receives 80% of its funding from students and had a $17 million deficit in the previous school year, and drew heavily from its endowment to pay its bills. Saint Rose has spent millions over the years to acquire properties near the Madison and Western Avenue areas.

Times Union has reported that the college has grappled with shaky finances for years as its enrollment steadily dropped. In 2020, its accreditor began requiring the college to provide proof of “improved financial viability” every year. In June, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education said the college’s accreditation was in jeopardy because of its fiscal situation. Saint Rose was given six months to make improvements and a Jan. 16, 2024 deadline to show that it had enough money to continue operating.

The College of Saint Rose's Shaky Financial History

The College of Saint Rose is a private liberal arts college in Albany, New York, which was founded in 1920 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. The College once enrolled 4,000 students; however, for the 22-23 school year, it had 2,800 students. The College's top undergraduate programs included their Criminal Justice Behavior and Law program, Social Work program, Communications program, Psychology program, and Childhood Ed/Special Ed. program. Billboard also recognized Saint Rose as having one of the top Music Industry programs in North America.

In December of 2015, The College of Saint Rose cut about a dozen programs, resulting in the elimination of 23 faculty positions. Five years later, in December of 2020, as part of a multi-year financial plan for the College’s long-term financial sustainability, the Saint Rose Board of Trustees has approved a plan to reduce academic expenses by $5.97 million, including the closure of 16 unique bachelor’s degrees, six unique master’s degrees, and three certificate programs.

If the college closes, 87 properties — most of them in the Pine Hills neighborhood — would become vacant. The college had purchased almost every building along one block bordered by Madison and Western avenues and Partridge Street. While there are some large academic buildings at Saint Rose, many of the properties are one- to three-family houses.

Touro University May Revive The College of Saint Rose

News broke this week that Touro University, a New York City-based school, said it is exploring an affiliation with The College of Saint Rose — a last-ditch effort that could potentially keep the 104-year-old college campus open in some form. Touro University is the largest Jewish-sponsored educational institution in the United States. This would be a change from St. Rose's Catholic roots. It has campuses in New York City, Long Island, Nevada, Illinois and California as well as Israel, Germany and Russia.

Touro University President Dr. Alan Kadish confirmed the school had some preliminary exploratory discussions with Saint Rose. Officials from Touro toured St. Rose back in mid-March. Kadish did not provide further details, saying there are no specific plans in place, and it is still uncertain whether any type of partnership would be finalized.

Jeffrey Stone, the chair of The College of Saint Rose’s Board of Trustees, said in a statement that any partnership with another higher education institution would require both state and federal approvals, as well as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an association that accredits colleges and universities.

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