Christian Brothers University Announces Academic Program Changes as a Part of Its Financial Exigency Process 

December 8, 2023: Christian Brothers University (CBU) today announced the academic program changes that it will be undertaking in its dedicated focus on building a foundation of financial and educational strength and long-term viability. 

Since the announcement of financial exigency in September, President Dave Archer, the University’s Retrenchment Committee and Academic Deans have worked together to meet the Board of Trustees’ mandate of a $4 million reduction in salaries, wages and benefits. Following an initial reduction of $1 million toward this goal by way of savings at the administrative level, the University today announced the academic program changes that will take it to its $4 million goal. 

The collective analysis of CBU’s academic programs identified opportunities to close majors that serve disproportionately low numbers of students in order to better allocate University resources to its most utilized programs and position it for the future.  

As a result, the following programs will be closed at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 academic year: Chemistry, Cultural Studies, Ecology, Engineering Physics, English, History, History Education, Liberal Studies, Physics, Politics and Law, and Political Science; along with Master of Education. In addition, the following two concentrations will be closed: Art Therapy and Philosophy. 

The closure of these programs will impact 15 undergraduate students out of an approximate 920 undergraduates heading into the 2024-25 academic year. The appropriate deans and other academic staff will work with each of the directly impacted students to ensure their academic path continues uninterrupted.  

As a part of the program closures, the University will be eliminating 28 faculty positions: three of those positions are currently open and will not be filled, and eight are positions where either the current incumbent has already announced an intended retirement or departure or the position was temporary. Of the remaining 17 positions, nine are tenured positions, and eight are non-tenured positions. These changes will be effective at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 academic year.  

“Decisions like these are the most agonizing a school can make,” said President Archer. “I’m proud of how the CBU community worked swiftly and methodically to put us on a solid foundation to carry out our important mission, long-term.”  

These changes follow previously announced reductions to staff and administrative positions, including three vice president positions and a streamlining of the organization overall. 

“These are the appropriate steps for the long-term interest of our students and our institution,” added Archer. “Our focus on CBU’s remaining 41 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate programs will attract more students and transform lives. Our commitment to our Lasallian tradition to positively impact the students we serve and the community we call home has guided the way forward for over 150 years. As a result of this process, we will re-center resources on our vision—to be student-ready, God-centered, and Memphis-focused to prepare CBU for the future.”