As enrollment continues to fall and the deficit mounts, Cabrini University said it will cut a handful of university leadership positions — including the first provost spot — as part of a broader reorganization aimed at reducing the workforce.

These cuts, and more to come later this academic year, are expected to save small Catholic Radnor University nearly $1 million this year, and with efforts to secure new revenue streams, drive to a “balanced financial performance” within three years, said interim president Helen G. Drinan.

The plan, approved by Cabrini’s board of trustees on Friday, comes as the university faces a $5-6 million shortfall in its $45 million budget this year and enrollment has fallen to around 1,500, down 36% from 2,360 in 2016-17. Friday’s announcement marks the second time in two years that the university has announced a series of changes to stem losses and accommodate fewer students.

READ MORE: Cabrini cuts staff, programs as coronavirus pandemic and competition take their toll

“We continue to lose money every year,” Drinan said. “It’s no longer tenable. It can’t go on. We can’t hope for a better day. We have to work for a better day.

As part of the reorganization, Cabrini will shrink from three colleges to two, with the School of Education being absorbed into the School of Arts and Sciences. The School of Business and Professional Studies will remain as the other school. The Provost – who acts as Director of Studies – as well as the Associate Provost and three Deans will be eliminated and replaced with a Dean of Academic Affairs and two Associate Deans. And 18 department chairs will be reduced to four: professors whose chair positions have been eliminated will retain their teaching position but will no longer receive the allowances that accompany this title.

Cuts are also planned for Institutional Advancement, the university’s fundraising arm, which is wrapping up a fundraising campaign this year. He will be asked to focus on fundraising for immediate needs, rather than building up the endowment, which stands at $34.6 million, Drinan said. And the office that deals with student life will be reorganized.

The effort so far will result in a net loss of eight jobs and lower wages for some of those who remain, she said.

“We take out what we consider to be expenses on the academic side that we just don’t need to spend,” she said.

Drinan said Cabrini is not under threat of closure as it takes steps to resolve financial pressure.

But when asked if he was considering a merger, Drinan replied, “Absolutely. We talk to all kinds of different people about the possibilities because even though we are on the right track to support an opportunity for independence, I think the higher education leadership in the United States makes it irresponsible not to look at these opportunities. She said she wasn’t ready to talk about potential partners.

READ MORE: Nationwide college enrollment continues to decline. “This is particularly disturbing,” says the researcher.

The announcement comes as many colleges across the country continue to deal with declining enrollment, which is already declining as the number of high school graduates declines but then accelerating with the pandemic. College enrollment fell again nationwide this fall, with steeper declines in Pennsylvania where college competition is fierce. Another projected decline in the number of high school graduates looms in 2025.

Some schools have opted for mergers. Pennsylvania State’s higher education system merged six of its universities into two entities this year, while St. Joseph’s University absorbed the University of Science. And this week, Montclair University, a public research university in New Jersey, announced it would absorb struggling Bloomfield College, a small private liberal arts school that primarily serves black and Hispanic students.

Cabrini was founded in 1957 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC), the religious order of the college’s namesake, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini. It has emphasized learning about social justice throughout its history. Originally a college, it became a university in 2016.

READ MORE: Cabrini cuts staff, programs as coronavirus pandemic and competition take their toll

His financial problems have accumulated over the years.

Standard & Poor’s downgraded Cabrini’s credit rating this month from “BBB-” to “BBB”, citing the institution’s long-term decline in listings and operating losses. Because Cabrini has no plans to issue new debt, according to S&P, the downgrade has little direct impact on the school.

Cabrini has yet to release financial results for the fiscal year that ended June 30, but S&P said it expects losses to continue through at least the current fiscal year. , which ends next June. In financial information to bondholders, Cabrini has posted operating losses for nine consecutive years, dating back to fiscal 2013. The documents show that enrollments, measured by total headcount, have fallen for at least five consecutive years, to 1,760 in the 2021-22 school. year of 2360 in the 2016-17 school year.

In March 2021, Cabrini, which at the time employed around 250 full-time staff, cut 46 positions through voluntary redundancy agreements, layoffs and unfilled jobs, and targeted 15 of its 69 programs. elimination or change. Today, the college has 204 full-time employees.

Drinan, former president of the private Simmons University in Boston, which she helped bring out of deficit, has only been at Cabrini for four and a half months. She replaced Donald Taylor, who left in February. Cabrini continues to search for a new chairman, and Drinan said she is trying to resolve financial issues so the position is more attractive to a new leader.

She said she expects some to question the decisions: Board members first asked if it was even possible for a college to not have a provost.

“Well, sure, you might not have a provost,” she said. “It’s become an extra expense that a school our size just doesn’t need.”

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