Too bad it has to come to this, but when I see how other schools are faring with budget issues, I consider ourselves lucky.
Personally, I feel one way to alleviate our woes would be to hire more student workers. Why hire outsiders when you can provide financial aid to students willing to work for the school? Also, I might suggest allowing students a say in what faculty are kept. If there are highly incompetent faculty hired here, students should have the right to seek their removal. We should not have to cut any of the faculty most of the student body feel do the school justice.
Also, when you think about it, Catholic schools in general had few funding problems back in the older days pre-VII where there was a high presence of consecrated religious people (in our case, the Sisters of Mercy). This was due to the fact that religious orders viewed education as a religious duty rather than a paid job. After the Second Vatican Council of 1963, multiple heretical interpretations of the documents (not the council teachings themselves) led to some religious orders to abandon their fidelity to the church, including the disuse of the habits.
Since then, religious orders have been dying out, resulting in Catholic schools either hiring lay faculty or closing down due to the need to pay lay faculty. I don’t feel we should get rid of the great lay faculty we have here, but we need to consider hiring more religious faculty that will be willing to work for the sake of service. Research has found that new orthodox religious orders or orders that have remained orthodox have more people entering their orders than the “Spirit of Vatican II” type orders who abandon fidelity to the Church in the name of “social justice.”
Just read up on the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration from Alabama, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which have more members coming in yearly than lost. Various religious orders that abandon orthodoxy, sadly including some patches of the Sisters of Mercy, are losing more members than gaining.
If religious orders can return to orthodoxy, they will have a massive increase in vocations, resulting in having more people available to run Catholic schools, including our fair university. Hire more religious faculty (actually religious, not “Spirit of Vatican II” type) and we will have less worries about financial woes. It would be nice for various local churches to take up collections to support our Catholic colleges so we might have less worries about finances.
I may not seem like what I am talking about and, to a degree, I probably don’t. I am just pointing out that Catholic schools in the past succeeded because of religious orders having more members willing to educate for the service to God.
Coincidentally, it is the orthodox orders of today that have the numbers that I wish all orders still had. May God guide us out of this financial worry and lead us to a bright future as a Mercy school. Carpe Diem!