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Cardinal Stritch University closing permanently, effective May 22

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 10, 2023

MILWAUKEE — Cardinal Stritch University is closing permanently effective May 22, President Dr. Dan Scholz announced Monday.

Dr. Scholz noted fiscal realities, a downward enrollment trend, the pandemic, and the need for more resources for the shutdown, calling it a "no-win situation."

"I am here to report that the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi has accepted the recommendation of the University Board of Trustees to suspend and cancel all education services, activities, and programs, effective May 22, 2023, and begin the wind-down process of the university operations after the current spring semester," Dr. Scholz shared.

Academic services will be provided this summer to a limited number of students so they can reach their graduation requirements. For current students, Cardinal Stritch is finalizing partnerships with local colleges and universities so they can continue their studies.

New students who are yet to enroll will be helped to transition to another school.

Dr. Scholz says faculty and staff will be offered an employee assistance program and the university will "work closely with them on employment matters."

Carla Sastre is a foreign exchange student from Spain and a member of the women's soccer team. She said hearing the news of the school's closure is devastating for her and nearly 40 other exchange students who have made the United States, and Cardinal Stritch, home.

"Every [exchange student] was talking with their parents and just crying," said Sastre. "Because like what are you gonna do? You’re in a different place, different country, you have made a lot of friends and everything and now everything is destroyed."

She told TMJ4 her future is now up in the air as she takes the next month to figure out what is next for her.

"For me, I already had everything planned. I was gonna stay here for the four years, I knew I was gonna try to get a job here," said Sastre. "Right now I'm just like, okay, now what am I supposed to do?"

Junior Noah Clements said the tight-knit community is what made the school so special

"A lot of the people here just really love each other," Clements told TMJ4 News. He said he wasn't shocked the university was closing, but surprised it was happening this soon: "I was in shock that it happened this year and not necessarily years down the line, 'cause I did know they had some sort of donation that was happening last year."

The university has 208 faculty members and just over 1,300 students enrolled. 45% of those students are Pell Grant recipients.

The university will host its last commencement ceremony on May 21 at 10 a.m. at the Wisconsin Center.

The private Roman Catholic university was founded in 1937 and celebrated its 85th anniversary last July.

Further information can be found on the university's website.

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