The College of Saint Rose President Carolyn Stefanco, and new Chair of the Board of Trustees Sister Mary Anne Heenan sent a joint email to College employees Monday calling for “unity on campus.”
The email, which was provided to the Chronicle by the College, references recent local news stories involving the college.
“Sister Mary Anne and I are saddened to see the recent divisiveness associated with the name of The College of Saint Rose in the media,” Stefanco said in the email.
“Disagreements that are aired in the media are a distraction to our focus on tackling the College’s financial challenges,” she continued, “Neither of us are going anywhere, and the challenges that face higher education and Saint Rose are present with or without our leadership.”
The Chronicle published an article on Dec. 5 notifying the campus of the resignation of four members of the Board of Trustees, Judith Calogero, who was the Chair, Michael Miller, Greg Serio, and Tim Fenton.
On Dec. 6, the Albany Times Union published an article that put the number of resignations at six. The Daily Gazette’s Dec. 7 article had the number of resignations at five.
“My belief is that it’s five,” said Heenan in a Dec.7 phone interview, “over a longer period of time than a week or so.”
Calogero submitted her resignation on Dec. 3, and Miller submitted his on Dec. 4, according to Heenan, who would not share the reasons for the resignation, citing her belief in the confidentiality of Board communications.
“Some of their reasons, I believe, were similar,” she said.
Heenan, who is serving her second term as a Trustee since returning from a hiatus, said many of the problems Saint Rose is facing are seen throughout higher education.
“I don’t think that it is totally unique to Saint Rose,” she said about the treacherous relationship between the College’s administration and many of it’s faculty.
“It’s my hope that we can come together as a college community to move the College in a very positive direction,” she added, “Our desire is to increase enrollment, to expand academic programs that students want most. It’s all us together, and the College wouldn’t be a college without the faculty and staff.”
College faculty gathered for an emergency meeting Monday to discuss the resignations, according to Psychology Professor Kathleen Crowley.
The faculty are voting on two motions electronically, Crowley said, but she did not say what the motions were.
“Regardless of the outcomes of these votes,” Crowley said in an email, “We are all deeply committed to advancing the academic mission of The College of Saint Rose, although we may strongly disagree about the best course of action for fulfilling that mission.”
“I personally am grateful to the Trustees who resigned for highlighting issues that have long-troubled me,” she added.