EDITOR IN CHIEF
The Benedictine University Springfield campus will no longer support traditional undergrad programs as of May next year and will lay off 75 of the 100 staff and faculty at that time. Benedictine University at Springfield has about 520 students in the traditional undergrad program.
Students will have the option to transfer to either of two Benedictine campuses that will continue to offer undergraduate programs, according to Benedictine President William Carroll.
The fate of the BenU Springfield employees is less clear.
“Faculty and staff are welcome to apply for open positions within the Benedictine University system,” said Nicole Selinger Executive Director of Marketing and Communications.
Many students and faculty members are stunned by the breaking news.
“I have really no idea what I’m going to do,” said Lyndi Saccaro to the Springfield State-Journal Register. “It was like they didn’t respect the student body enough to tell us in person. They took the cowardly way out. This screwed a lot of people over.”
“This was difficult news for the Springfield campus. This place is made of people who care deeply about the people and programs at Benedictine University at Springfield. There is a very real sense of family here,” said Selinger.
“The decision was in response to market opportunities in the adult education sector, and the financial realities of providing traditional undergraduate education,” said BenU Springfield Branch Campus President Michael Bromberg said.
Bromberg told the State Journal-Register that the Springfield campus would need $40 million in repairs and updates to remain viable for undergraduates.
“There were two forces driving this decision: market opportunities in the growing adult sector, and the financial realities of providing traditional undergraduate education,” said Selinger. “The financial projections of the investments required to make the Springfield campus competitive in the traditional student marketplace were unsustainable long-term.”
The university will provide full support to students who want to transfer, according Carroll. Students in good academic standing may transfer to the Lisle or Mesa campuses.
“We are working to make the process as seamless as possible. Students in good academic standing who wish to transfer to Lisle or Mesa will be automatically admitted, at Springfield tuition rates and with the same institutional financial aid,” said Selinger.
Current adult undergraduate and graduate students will not experience any changes, the university said.
For more information, visit the Springfield campus website. There will also be student and family informational sessions at the Springfield campus in Angela Gym at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 30 and 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 1.
Karly Sacco contributed to this story