President Quits; Board Cites 'Unmet Financial Obligations'

October 19, 2016

The College of New Rochelle’s president has resigned after its Board of Trustees recently learned of “significant unmet financial obligations” that have the institution preparing for major budget cuts and possible financial exigency, it announced Tuesday.

President Judith Huntington resigned Saturday, the college said. Her resignation came shortly after the board learned in September of financial obligations that had built up over time. The college did not share the size of the obligations but said that they emerged after its controller retired at the end of the last academic year.

The college said in an online posting that it is investigating why it did not learn of the unmet obligations until recently and why a “nationally known outside firm that routinely audited the college’s financial statements” did not discover them. It also said trustees are exploring bridge financing to stabilize short-term finances. Budget cuts that could hit staff and faculty are also likely.

Trustees put in place a chief restructuring officer, forensic accountant and outside law firm to perform an investigation. Board of Trustees Chair Gwen Adolph said in a statement that more details will be provided when the investigation is complete.

“We have made these changes because we are looking in new directions to protect and preserve the mission of the College of New Rochelle,” Adolph said in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring that our students have the opportunity to complete their education and take advantage of life’s opportunities.”

Adolph told faculty and staff that the investigation has so far not shown evidence of “self-enrichment,” according to The Journal News. The newspaper reported that the college, which enrolls about 4,000 students and employs about 1,300 people, operated at a loss from 2011-14, drawing down its net assets from more than $30 million to $25 million.

Traditionally a women’s college, New Rochelle generated mixed feedback in December when it announced it would admit men in the fall of 2016. It operates five satellite campuses in New York City boroughs.

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