College Official Unwittingly Tells Students That It May Soon Close

An administrator at Holy Cross College, in Indiana, mistakenly sent an email to the entire student body on Friday that paints a bleak picture of the small institution’s finances and mentions its possible closure. The alarming email, and failed efforts by the college to recall it, was reported by the South Bend Tribune.

“It may be that I will spend the better part of the coming school year closing down the college,” wrote the vice president for student affairs, Kelly Jordan, in the email. “All we can do is try our hardest and hope for the best!”

The email came just one month after the college’s president, Brother John Paige, suddenly left his post.

Mr. Jordan brought up the leadership turmoil in the email, which was part of a chain of messages between him and an official at a nearby boarding school, where he said he may be interested in working.

“As you may have heard, the board fired our president quite unexpectedly … and since then three of the five VPs have left (asked to resign or resigned on their own), leaving just two of us remaining as VPs. … I am not sure how all this is going to play out for the college (i.e., if it can even remain in operation). All of this, of course, is strictly confidential, and I know that I can count on your discretion,” read an excerpt of the email quoted by the Tribune.

Holy Cross’s interim president, the Rev. David Tyson, sent a message to the campus saying the mistaken email was one individual’s opinion “and does not reflect the conversations that the Board of Trustees and administration are having about the future of the college.”

Some observers have predicted bleak prospects for small colleges in recent years, including a forecast that the closure rate will triple. Sweet Briar College is the most prominent college in recent years to announce that it would close, in 2015, but alumni launched a successful effort to save the college.

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