Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / Americas

They managed to survive wars, but virus too much to bear for colleges

By BELINDA ROBINSON in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-02-08 09:23
Share - WeChat

It survived World War I, the flu pandemic of 1918 and World War II but the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been too great for it to withstand.

Concordia College in New York, founded in 1881, will close this autumn after its financial problems were exacerbated by the pandemic. It follows other venerable educational institutions that the pandemic has brought low.

Concordia, which has 1,500 students, transferred most of them to Iona College, a private Catholic college in New Rochelle, north of New York, to continue their education. Iona has also agreed to buy Concordia's campus in nearby Bronxville.

"This extremely difficult decision is the result of a deliberative, thoughtful and strategic process, informed by immutable business realities," Concordia said in a statement. "Set within the context of a changing and broadly challenged higher education sector, the college's financial shortfalls were further accelerated by the global pandemic."

The pandemic, along with lower student enrollments and less financial assistance from states for public schools, has also forced US colleges and universities to cut budgets, reduce staff and eliminate some programs.

Last year the American Council on Education and 100 colleges and universities wrote a letter urging Congress to pass a new coronavirus relief bill giving $120 billion to off set losses in higher education.

At least 100 programs at US universities had been suspended by October, according to an analysis by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Cuts have occurred at top-tier universities including Harvard, the University of South Florida, the University of California, Berkeley, Cornell in Ithaca, New York, and the University of Akron in Ohio, the American Council on Education said.

The University of Akron cited the coronavirus and successfully invoked a clause in its collective bargaining agreement in September to supersede tenure rules and lay off 97 unionized faculty members.

Last September trustees at the University of Florida allowed faculty furloughs to help close a projected $49 million shortfall from the coronavirus. Steve Orlando, a university spokesman, said the next step, a formal furlough policy, is expected to go to the board this year.

Ithaca College in central New York said last year that it planned to cut 121 full-time faculty slots as a result of declining enrollment exacerbated by the pandemic. The school had already furloughed 167 nonfaculty staff members and offered early retirement to 30 faculty members to address an $8 million shortfall.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349