The end is (nearly) here.
The last classes will be held at the college on Saturday, Aug. 10, making the end of the institution following a three-year financial crisis. The college recently held its final graduation ceremony.
Earlier this year, the college announced that it had entered into an Agreement of Mutual Cooperation that will “ensure a seamless transition for CNR students to continue their education at Mercy College.”
In 2016, CNR’s Board of Trustees was alerted about “significant unmet financial obligations that had accrued over a period of time.” The Board subsequently launched an investigation and enlisted the help of officials to restructure and manage CNR’s finances. A forensic accountant and outside legal counsel was also hired to perform the investigation.
The investigation ultimately found that CNR hadn’t paid upwards of $20 million in payroll taxes dating back to 2014. It determined that the college’s controller failed to file the required tax returns and to pay the taxes due. It also revealed that senior management did not provide accurate information to the Board about the college’s finances. The investigation also revealed other significant debts, liabilities and depletion of assets - including the unrestricted endowment - that total more than $11 million.
CNR took extreme measures following the discovery of the misappropriated money, launching several fundraisers and soliciting donations for alumni. They raised millions of dollars, but the debt ultimately piled up, leading to Friday’s announcement. They sold off assets at a real estate auction and sought to secure a partnership to help the institution stay afloat.
“Despite our successes, the financial status of the College underscored the necessity to identify an institution that would provide a safe haven for students first and foremost while also doing our best to protect faculty and staff and CNR’s Ursuline legacy,” CNR President William Latimer noted. “We are blessed that our work with Mercy College provides the basis to accomplish each of these aims.”
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