Canisius College rightsizing to fit lower enrollment

Sep 5, 2014

High college costs have caused declining enrollment and financial difficulties for some area private colleges. Enrollment is down at both Canisius and Medaille Colleges in Buffalo.

Canisius College President John Hurley delivered his campus address Thursday. Hurley told the college community the school will work to revitalize academic programs, pursue an innovative business model and redefine what it is to be a student-centered university.  WBFO's Eileen Buckley spoke to Hurley about downsizing and focusing on the future.

Outside Canisius College in Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Canisius has already reduced $12 million from its budget to deal with losses. Some faculty, administrators and staff have been cut.  

"We've got to really be thinking about the future," said Hurley. "We're going to be somewhat smaller. We are going to remain focused on academic quality."

Inside a Canisius College classroom.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Hurley realizes local families are finding the cost of college a challenge, but he says tuition is based on delivering quality education.

Medaille is dealing with similar difficulties with lower enrollment and a more than $2-million deficit.  Medaille is located near Canisius.  WBFO News asked Hurley if he would consider future conversations with the nearby private college to share services. 

"While there is nothing going on, I wouldn't rule it out, because I think the circumstances are going to  continue to be difficult for every school in the region, and we are going to have to think creatively at what we do and how we do it," said Hurley. 

"While there is nothing going on, I wouldn't rule it out, because I think the circumstances are going to continue to be difficult for every school in the region, and we are going to have to think creatively at what we do and how we do it," said Hurley.