CNR Working to Finalize Agreement with Mercy College
We want to reassure you that our first priority is the well-being of the CNR Community, and in particular to ensure our students have a clear path forward to complete their educations, regardless of the ultimate outcome for CNR.
We have been working to finalize an agreement with a respected area college that would meet the continuing educational needs of CNR’s students. We are pleased to be able to share that institution is Mercy College. Mercy and CNR share a similar heritage and mission and both offer a quality education with similar course offerings. Importantly, Mercy is uniquely positioned financially and academically to offer current CNR students an uninterrupted pathway to continue and complete their education.
We have fielded numerous questions from students since the posting Friday, including four central questions to which students need and deserve answers as clearly and transparently as we can provide at this time and going forward.
First, we are working to ensure that CNR students will have options to complete their degrees.
Second, because the partner with whom we are working is Mercy College, this also assures that CNR students will be able to continue with their education at a highly respected academic institution. Mercy College is fully accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education and offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences, which align well with CNR. Further, Mercy College also expects to be able to offer employment to some CNR faculty and staff which will also help to maintain the continuity of the education received by CNR students. At the same time, we anticipate that CNR students will benefit from additional resources in the form of Mercy College faculty and staff.
Third, we will make every effort to ensure that students are not displaced physically in terms of where they study to the extent possible. Mercy has campuses in the same areas as CNR with campuses in Dobbs Ferry, Bronx, Manhattan and Yorktown Heights and the vibrancy of the culture is sustained by a diverse student body from around the region, all of which also matches well with CNR. To further help minimize the disruption to CNR students, Mercy College is exploring the possibility of leasing portions of CNR’s New Rochelle campus and other city campuses for a period of time.
Fourth, we are also working to ensure that any transfer of students to Mercy College will not result in an increase in tuition.
Because the boards of both institutions must still approve a definitive agreement, we are not yet in a position to provide specific details. Mercy College is actively working with regulatory and accrediting agencies to make sure that approvals are in place to accommodate CNR’s programs for fall 2019.
We recognize how exceptionally difficult and sad this news is for the entire CNR Community –students, faculty, staff and alumnae/i – and ask for your understanding and patience as we work through the process ahead together. Our goal has been and is to provide students and the CNR Community with as much advance time possible so that students and our esteemed faculty and staff have time to make informed decisions.
Please know that we have been and will continue to work on a plan with Mercy College with the goal of providing all CNR students an uninterrupted path to continue their educations. As we work to continue the education of CNR’s students under the stewardship of Mercy College for fall 2019, we are simultaneously moving college operations forward to graduate the CNR Class of 2019 at Commencement in May.
In the coming days and weeks we will provide more details and answers through updates and town hall meetings.
CNR Established MOU with Another College
This message is to inform the CNR Community of the current status of the College. The College continues to experience significant cash flow challenges. In multiple forums, President Latimer has stated that the three courses of action facing The College of New Rochelle include closure and teaching out existing students, partnership, or standing alone. At this point in time, it appears unlikely that the College will be able to continue operations beyond the end of the summer 2019 semester.
CNR has been engaged in discussions with an educational institution that is party to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). That institution is not considering a merger or acquisition of the College and is not considering the assumption of any of the College’s debt. The discussions are now focused on finalizing an arrangement with that institution that would meet the continuing educational needs of CNR’s students without interruption and may necessitate the retention of a number of faculty and staff. We will keep the CNR Community informed of the continuing discussions and anticipate further announcements in the coming weeks.
The College of New Rochelle ‘s audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018 have not been completed due to open audit items. These include negotiations with the Internal Revenue Service to abate accrued penalties under the installment plan for the College’s outstanding federal tax liability that were stalled during the shutdown of the federal government and are ongoing. Because of this matter and the ongoing financial challenges, the College’s auditor has not yet made a final determination as to CNR’s ability to continue as a going concern.
We assure you that we will share more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, The College of New Rochelle will continue its normal operations. Thank you.