BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo’s Medaille University will close for good by the end of summer.
It’s a decision that impacts hundreds of students, faculty and staff.
Many students say they are frustrated, disappointed and sad the board of trustees voted to close the school. This comes just days after the university announced that a deal with Trocaire College to purchase the school fell through.
“[I’m] extremely upset. I loved all my professors here. They are all really good people and very deserving of their jobs and now it is all gone because of the Board of Trustees. Nothing we can do,” Eric Kay, a student at Medaille University, said.
The announcement was sent out to students and faculty on Monday, one day after the university’s 2023 Commencement ceremony.
“We knew the demographic trends and some of the economic shifts were making things really difficult. I hate to see that it happened, but we were wrestling with concerns back then too,” Dr. Nathan Daun-Barnett, professor at the University at Buffalo and former Medaille University Board of Trustees member, said.
The memo said the university has been under significant budgetary constraints for the last few months, citing declining enrollment, outstanding liabilities and other challenges.
Dr. Daun-Barnett says the cost of higher education, lack of population growth in Western New York and the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to this.
“The prospect of going and learning the way they did during that time is not appealing to a lot of students and I think there is still going to be residual effects for some time,” Dr. Daun-Barnett said.
Medaille said in its announcement that it will be working with students on an individual basis to assist them in the teach-out process, as well as assisting faculty and staff with finding news institutions or organizations.
“Our first concern and highest priority is to successfully transfer all current Medaille students to other schools where they will be able to finish their academic careers in their chosen discipline.”
The University also said students on track to finish their degrees before Aug. 31 will be able to finish their academic careers at Medaille.
Abi Krull was going into her senior year at Medaille and she says she doesn’t have a set school she will finish her degree at yet. She said she knew the school had financial issues, but is sad her time there was cut short.
“I’m upset but I wasn’t surprised,” Krull said. “I’m upset because I really wanted to finish out my senior year there.”
Kay just finished his first year and plans to transfer to Daeman University to continue his biology studies.
“This is the board of trustees fault,” Kay said. “You’ll get what’s coming to you eventually. You know what you did.”
Initially, Medaille and Trocaire had a “cooperative agreement,” announced Aug. 18, 2022, to “fulfill the missions of both institutions.” On April 4, it was announced that Medaille was set to be acquired by Trocaire, with Medaille to integrate into the College on July 31.
After the acquisition was announced, Medaille planned to lay off 419 employees, according to a WARN notice filed with the state. The school had previously sold six of its off-campus properties to Trocaire and was set to eliminate three of its athletic programs prior to the upcoming season.
News 4 Staff contributed to this report
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.