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Concordia University Ann Arbor will remain open next school year despite financial challenges

Concordia University Ann Arbor 1
Concordia University Ann Arbor 2
Posted at 6:15 PM, Mar 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-01 18:34:44-05

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Concordia University Ann Arbor announced Friday the university will be able to remain open for the 2024-2025 academic year.

This comes after the school announced financial instability last month. The university said it would need to reduce costs to operate sustainably within existing revenues. The university president added that the cost-cutting measures would likely include staff reductions and disposition of property, facilities and equipment at the Ann Arbor campus.

“I was honestly really upset. I didn’t know what to do. I live almost an hour away. I don’t have family,” said Isabella Schwirzinski, who is a freshman studying pre-nursing. ”I fell in love with the school, really, and I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.”

Following a special Board of Regents meeting Thursday, the university announced Friday morning in a video message to students and faculty that they would remain open next year and “prayerfully” in the years to come.

“Additionally, we will begin an intense and focused exploration of the possibility of the Ann Arbor campus seeking to become an autonomous Concordia University,” said Rev. John M. Berg, who is the Chair of CUWAA Board of Regents.

Berg says remaining open means the university will have to make some staffing cuts. However, a university spokesperson says they have not determined how many positions they will eliminate or which ones.

Students who are attending the university on sports scholarships say they were relieved to hear the news. Freshman Trevor Meyer, who plays on the school's soccer team, says this will save him from having to scramble to find a new school last minute.

“It was definitely a bit of relief because coming here and having to possibly transfer out is a big thing, especially with sports scholarships getting messed up. You’re going to have to make new connections, relearn the team, relearn professors and some of our core classes might not transfer. It’s just a big what if,” Meyer said.

“It was pretty stressful having to look at other options, looking for worst scenario. But I’m glad it all worked out and I can stay with the family I made here,” added Hunter Fletcher, who is a sophomore accounting student.

A subcommittee is currently being formed to review the university's financial challenges. They plan to share more on staff cuts and timelines with students and faculty in the near future. Right now, there is no word on whether the university will be viable to operate in the academic years that follow 2024-2025.

Students say they’re hopeful things will come together.

“I’m really excited to see what CUW and CUAA have in store for us for the 2025-26 year. I think CUAA is going to be strong and we’re going to be alright,” said Spencer Mosher, who is a sophomore studying mass communications.