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Board of Trustees votes to temporarily close Saint Joseph’s College

RENSSELAER, Ind. (WLFI) – Saint Joseph’s College Board of Trustees decided to temporarily close the institution at its Rensselaer campus starting in May.

A press release issued by the school says the nursing program operated in Lafayette will continue. The school says it’s also starting a “Teach-Out” process with other schools, which is intended to make a smooth transition for students to continue their education.

The news comes after following two days worth of meetings over the college’s financial crisis. As WLFI reported on Jan. 26, Saint Joseph’s College was in a dire financial situation. President Robert Pastoor said it needed $100 million, with $20 million committed before June 1, to continue serving students.

“It is only through financial remedies of this magnitude that I could state confidently that we can provide the kind of educational experience that our students deserve,” Pastoor said in a letter released last week.

But Saint Joe’s marketing director Greg Gill WLFI, the college had no plans to close.

Pastoor said his staff had exhausted all possible avenues in their efforts to improve the financial situation. The Higher Learning Commission put the institution on probation in November 2016 due to finances.

The Board of Trustees met Thursday and Friday to discuss the college’s future. Pastoor said the board was going to discuss a variety of paths for the future of the college.

Tippecanoe County Judge Steve Meyer graduated from Saint Joe’s in 1981 with a degree in political science and a minor in history. He said he was heartbroken to hear the news the school may be closing.

“It’s a small college where it allows you to bond with all of the students and even the faculty,” Meyer said. “I’ve just had great memories and great education from Saint Joe’s. I was really disappointed and heartbroken to hear that they are in the troubles that they are.”

There’s no word yet on how long the school expects to stay closed, or whether they have a timeline for reopening. The school is holding forum for students and staff to ask questions about the process on February 6.

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