By Clare Venegas
The plan, when fully realized, is estimated to save the university over $3.1 million while aligning resources to the university’s new Strategic Plan.
“The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the financial pressures on small liberal arts institutions like ours, and it is in our best long-term interest to find ways to operate more efficiently,” said President Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA ’82 MA ’83. “These measures not only ensure we preserve our educational mission, but I’m confident they will put us on a more solid path for future growth.”
“While restructuring is never an easy task, this plan is the result of prudent, thoughtful collaboration among our Board of Trustees, faculty leaders and administration officials,” said Provost and incoming President Jonathan J. Sanford. “Once implemented, we will be in a stronger position to focus on areas of growth envisioned in the Strategic Plan, from the strengthening of our academic programs and our students’ character formation, to increasing our reputation and recognition here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and beyond.”
Major components of the plan include:
The Ann and Joe O. Neuhoff School of Ministry will be transformed into the Ann and Joe O. Neuhoff Institute for Ministry and Evangelization. The Neuhoff Institute will preserve and expand the School of Ministry’s English and Spanish non degree certificate offerings, including diaconate formation for the Diocese of Dallas, to better serve local dioceses and other diocesan partners throughout the U.S, while undergraduate and graduate theology degree programs will move into the Constantin College of Liberal Arts and the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts. The undergraduate major in pastoral ministry will be combined with theology to provide a more integrated formation for undergraduate students, while moving the graduate programs to the Braniff Graduate School returns them to where many of them were originally housed for 20 years. A new Homiletics Institute, funded by the Catholic Foundation and housed at the University of Dallas, will also be associated with the Neuhoff Institute to serve parish priests and deacons in their preaching ministry.
The Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business, while continuing to play a role in the undergraduate major, will be focused primarily on graduate business education. The undergraduate business major will move from the Gupta College of Business to a major within the Constantin College. Gupta faculty will continue to teach undergraduate business classes and serve as student advisers.
Other measures to reduce costs include ensuring healthy enrollments in all courses are maintained while remaining committed to a low faculty-student ratio and maximizing use of the inter-term and summer term periods, eliminating or reducing several academic programs, as well as reducing contract costs related to university business operations and staff levels of administrative support.
The restructuring of the School of Ministry programs and the realignment of the Gupta College of Business’ degree offerings are estimated to save over $882,000 annually, while the other measures described in the third item above will save an estimated $2.2 million.
A summary of the Strategic Plan adopted by the Board of Trustees in May 2020 can be found here.