Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer closed in spring 2017. Trustees promise a plan to rebuild the college is coming at the start of 2020. (Photo: Meghan Holden/Journal & Courier)
Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer closed in spring 2017. Trustees promise a plan to rebuild the college is coming at the start of 2020. (Photo: Meghan Holden/Journal & Courier)
RENSSELAER – The first classes on Saint Joseph’s College campus since the four-year, Catholic liberal arts school closed in 2017 will come in the spring 2020 semester under the Ivy Tech Community College flag.

What that might mean for the direction of the college’s promised rebirth and retooling has been left to speculation for alumni and others, as Saint Joseph’s trustees quietly work toward the January 2020 release of a full-blown plan for the Rensselaer campus.

“I know there’s a lot of angst out there,” said Bill Carroll, the former president of Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, hired in March 2019 by Saint Joseph’s as an adviser.

“I get that there’s a great need out there to know what’s going on,” Carroll, owner of the consulting firm Hunter Global Education and Saint Joseph’s new spokesman, said. “But we’ve got to take one step at a time. We’ve promised a plan. We’re developing the plan. I think the plan is kind of exciting. It’s looking at a new way for doing business in Rensselaer. … The Ivy Tech classes are the first stepping stone.”

Saint Joseph’s alumni, many of whom have been frustrated by what they’ve characterized as a lack of communication dating to the decision to shutter the campus, say they’re waiting for stepping stones two, three and beyond.

“While it will be nice to have activity on campus, alumni remain unsure what this means for the future of Saint Joseph’s College,” said Jackie Bradway, vice president of Saint Joseph’s College Alumni Association, Inc. The nonprofit group started after the college closed as a way to keep alumni connected as Saint Joe’s tried to rebuild.

“Ivy Tech is a fine source of income for the campus in the interim,” Bradway said. “But what we are really waiting for is the resurrection of Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer. Alumni are eagerly waiting the ‘plan’ the SJC team has been working on since the announcement of the closure in 2017.”
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