May. 13, 2020
AUSTIN, Texas — This week, in proactive actions to ensure a Fiscal Year 2021 balanced budget, St. Edward’s University announced a plan that redeploys the university’s resources to ensure its continued financial strength and long-term sustainability. The plan also continues the extraordinary educational experience provided for students since the university’s founding in 1885.
Central to the plan, approved by the university’s Board of Trustees, is restructuring across the university for planning a safe, socially-distanced, on-campus Fall 2020 semester. Discontinued programs and an approximately 10% reduction of employee positions, proportional to the projected 12% enrollment revenue decline due to COVID-19, were also included.
In a statement to the university community, President George E. Martin expressed his conviction that the university will persevere and adapt to the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the university, and to all of higher education:
“Our organizational restructuring impacted every area of the university. The streamlining and efficiencies introduced in the plan actually enable us to provide students with an even higher quality experience than before. Most important, the plan avoids a budget deficit in Fiscal Year 2021, a risk that would jeopardize the future of the university. I am confident our plan will lead St. Edward’s to better days ahead.”
Restructuring efforts focused on evaluating resources available to the university and making decisions about how those resources will best serve the greatest number of students. All university operations were evaluated, from academics to athletics. Changes include:
Consolidation of five academic schools into four with programs transitioning between schools. Kinesiology, for example, moves to the School of Natural Sciences from the School of Human Development and Education.
- The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies for EC-6 elementary education teacher preparation will no longer accept new students. Current students will continue their studies and finish their degree.
- To align faculty positions with academic programs, some non-tenure track, visiting faculty appointments and academic contracts were not continued.
- The discontinuation of five NCAA athletic programs and the transition of Cheer to a club sport was announced in April.
- Housing occupancy will be reduced in order to provide a safe, socially-distanced residential experience for our students, resulting in fewer live-in professional staff.
- Health services will be provided via a new partnership with Baylor Scott & White designed to provide students access to a broader range of medical services.
The Munday Library:
- The Munday Library will transition to a Learning Commons model, which prioritizes digital collections and provides 24-hour card access for study, research and student academic services.
- The new Learning Commons is expected to include the Writing Center, Digital Media Center, Student Success Center and Student Academic Support Services.
These proactive restructuring efforts strengthen the university’s ability to absorb changes related to COVID-19 while continuing to provide a formative, holistic student experience and prioritize the health and safety of our students and employees with a strong commitment to the Holy Cross Mission.