Amid a forensic investigation into college finances and a financial restructuring expected to include faculty and staff cuts, Judith Huntington has resigned as president of The College of New Rochelle, college trustees announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Her resignation came five years after Huntington, a certified public accountant, was inaugurated as the private Catholic college’s 13th president and first laywoman to hold the post.
Huntington arrived at CNR in 2001 from the accounting firm KPMG LLP to serve as vice president of financial affairs. Ten years later, she rose to the president’s office despite her lack of advanced academic credentials; Huntington has only a bachelor’s degree.
In a press release, the CNR Board of Trustees said the board accepted her resignation on Saturday after being advised in September that the college had accrued “significant unmet financial obligations.” The financial crisis threatens the college’s survival, the board indicated on the college website.
The board last month appointed a special committee of trustees to oversee an investigation and also named a chief restructuring officer to restructure and manage the college’s finances.
Trustee also have hired a forensic accountant and outside law firm to conduct the ongoing investigation.
“Our foremost responsibility is to the students and their families who have invested their resources and their futures in the quality academic programming that the college has provided,” said Gwen Adolph, chairperson of The College of New Rochelle Board of Trustees. “We have made these changes because we are looking in new directions to protect and preserve the mission of The College of New Rochelle. We are committed to ensuring that our students have the opportunity to complete their education and take advantage of life’s opportunities.”
Adolph added that trustees “are examining all of our options as we work to meet the financial challenges and protect the interests of our students and the CNR community.” She said the college expects to release more details of the financial crisis when the investigation is complete.
Trustees on the CNR website said the college is making budget cuts that likely will include reductions in both staff and faculty. The college is also considering a Declaration of Exigency, they said, which recognizes “an imminent financial crisis which threatens the survival of the institution as a whole and which cannot be alleviated by less drastic means.”
Trustees named Dorothy Escribano, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, as interim president. Kevin Cavanagh, the college’s vice president of enrollment management, will serve as executive vice president of strategy and planning.
Founded by the Ursuline Sisters in 1904, The College of New Rochelle includes four schools: the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Nursing and Health Care Professions, the Graduate School and the School of New Resources for adult learners. In addition to its main campus in New Rochelle, it operates five satellite campuses in the New York City boroughs.