To my tremendous sadness, the College of Saint Rose is closing. The 103-year-old institution will shut down at the end of the academic year after the May 11, 2024 graduation.
What has been its great strength, a campus amid the city of Albany, NY, will be the greatest challenge for the neighborhood: nearly 90″properties — almost all of them clustered in the Pine Hills neighborhood — will be left vacant.”
As the Times Union reported: “The college’s properties in the one square block of Madison Avenue, Western Avenue, and Partridge Street will become empty. Most of them are zoned ‘multi-use — campus/institutions,’ which allows a wide variety of options, from residential to retail.”
I’ve always liked college campuses intrinsic to its city, such as Syracuse University, Brown University in Providence, and the downtown University at Albany campus. Meanwhile, Binghamton University, near where I grew up in upstate New York, seemed at arm’s length to me growing up.
The CSR campus is only three to four blocks from my house. A student enrichment program occurred there when my daughter was in elementary school; in 3rd through 5th grade, it was in science, and in 6th grade, science. My daughter was so positively affected that she briefly considered CSR as a college choice.
I’ve attended musical recitals by students, some of whom had been in our church choir for a time, at the lovely Massry Center. Our church choir director taught there until the school gutted more than two dozen majors, including several in their excellent art and music programs designed to save money a few years ago. But the decision, along with COVID, meant that the enrollment plummeted.
“College officials have in recent days attempted to secure emergency funding from the state, county, and city to stay open. While the responses were encouraging… none of those entities said they could immediately offer help.”
A CSR spokesperson recently said, “The women’s soccer team is undefeated, and it’s business as usual over here. There is no plan to announce that the college is closing.” Still, the closure was a shock but, oddly, not entirely a surprise.
The Saint Rose Exposed page is written by Bruce Roter, a professor at Saint Rose, for 24 years before the 2022 retrenchment. He is the Founder and President of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Museum of Political Corruption and its Center for Ethical Governance.
Roter writes: “I am angriest at the administration and the board of trustees who let this community down. It was their primary responsibility to maintain the financial well-being of the college — they failed miserably. They failed the students who were promised an education that would change their lives. They failed the faculty who dedicated themselves to those students. They failed the staff who worked diligently behind the scenes to support the College. They failed the College’s founders, who envisioned an institution that would lift people up and educate the whole individual. They failed the alumni. They failed the Capital District Community.”
future use, and how we can minimize the immediate and long-term effects on our surrounding community, businesses, and the Pine Hills neighborhood more specifically.
“The College of Saint Rose is part of the very fabric of Albany. We will work diligently to ensure there is a clear path forward for students and faculty, the College’s physical presence in the City of Albany, and a smooth transition and integration of existing academic programs through partnerships between Saint Rose and other institutions of higher education both in the Capital Region and New York State.”
I must believe that College of Saint Rose graduates, several of whom I know, must be mourning. And, of course, “the closing could be devastating to some students, who will struggle to find another college where they can finish their degree.” Not to mention faculty and staff who will have to seek other jobs.