‘Stable’ future expected for Madonna University

By Chris Austin

Caustin908@my.madonna.edu

In the face of a slumping Michigan economy and tough economic times across the country, Sister Rose Marie, President of Madonna University, delivered a strong and optimistic speech about the state of the university to the members of the Madonna University faculty at the first annual Spring Anew address.

“Be assured that we are financially stable and we are doing well,” stated Sister Rose Marie during the address. “Everyone here can enjoy a reasonable level of peace regarding financial stability and job security.”
The address took place during two identical sessions in

Faculty and staff listen to Sr. Rose Marie’s address.

April.

University funding and budgeting was one of the more pertinent topics that Sister Rose Marie discussed during the address.

The operating budget for the school is normally between $35 and $37 million. The university endowment will account for around $20 million this year, which is down from $30 million. Other sources of income include various grants from the federal and state levels including the Title III Grant, Pell Grants and the Michigan Tuition Grant. Other forms of income were also discussed, such as renting out classroom space to various organizations on the weekends.

“There is no perfect way to put a budget together, but we are working diligently at it,” said Sister Rose Marie. “Our income over the next six months to a year will come in at a rate to cover all immediate expenses. As an independent institution, we are very cost effective.”

Sister Rose Marie briefly touched on tuition rates as well. Madonna is a tuition-driven school with 80-85 percent of the budget coming from tuition payments. Tuition has been raised at a rate of 9 percent the past two years while still maintaining the same level of enrollment. This year, enrollment is up 4 percent at Madonna and the Board of Governors approved a 5.8 percent tuition increase that will become effective this fall. Studies show that enrollment will stay elevated next year as well.

“If the economy continues to deteriorate, we can lower tuition rates,” Sister Rose Marie stated, adding that it would be easier to lower rates for students in the event that the economy does not get any better instead of raise them at a later date if the economy improves. “At this point we are holding steady,” she said.

Money wasn’t the only topic of discussion at the assembly as Sister Rose Marie touched on some of the great accomplishments from individual departments and even opened the floor to faculty who wanted to recognize a significant achievement in their department.

“This past year we won five championships,” Sister Rose Marie said of the athletic department. “This year we’ve won three and very well may be on our way to more.”

The dedication for the new building is set to take place Oct. 15. Sister Rose Marie said that they hope to have 500-1,000 people present for the dedication. The university may also open the new building for public tours Saturday, Oct. 17.

“This is the first stand-alone building built on campus in nearly 40 years,” she said.

Before closing, Sister Rose Marie was certain to thank the efforts of the people who help make the university a success.

“You, as a member of the Madonna University community, truly contribute to the vitality and viability of our campus,” she said of the faculty. “Each of us contributes to the strength of the university.”

 

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