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Fontbonne University will shutter 21 degree programs, cut 22 faculty positions

The campus of Fontbonne University in Clayton, Missouri, photographed on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023.
Tristen Rouse
St. Louis Public Radio
Fontbonne University opened in Clayton in 1923. The private school announced Thursday that it is cutting 21 degree programs and 22 faculty positions.

Fontbonne University in Clayton will drop 21 academic programs and cut 22 individual faculty positions. Undergraduate and graduate programs are included. Art, data science and social work are among the degree programs to be eliminated.

This is in addition to a reduction in operating expenses. The school announced the cuts Thursday as part of its Final Retrenchment Program. It comes as Fontbonne faces a decrease in enrollment and revenue. The private university saw a $1.7 million decrease in revenue in 2022. Enrollment has fallen by more than half over the past decade.

The school has eliminated the position of academic dean among 15 other full-time staff roles. Resources such as software contracts, campus nurse services and student-activity allocations will face cuts.

Cuts will begin next year, continuing until 2025. The university says these changes will provide it with more than $4.6 million in recuperation by 2025.

“As a small private institution with a total student enrollment of just under 1,000, the university has had to make difficult decisions to ensure its long-term sustainability,” Nancy Blattner, president of the university, said in a statement.

Officials say an exact timeline will be determined for program closure as they conduct a review. Fontbonne will extend transfer or teach-out offers for students in these programs who are unable to graduate.

Lauren Brennecke is a general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio and a recent graduate of Webster University.