Students receive letter from Messite and Board of Trustees, Messitte visits Senate to talk finances

By Haley Stowell

 

In November, Ripon College students received an email from President Zach Messite and Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas Abendroth regarding Ripon’s current financial situation. The letter shared that although the college has had several successes in the past few years, such as the development of the Catalyst Curriculum and construction of the new Wilmore Center, the administration will “have to make some difficult decisions that will impact our programs and people in the months ahead” due to impending budget constraints. The letter also noted that the president and all members of the administration team have taken salary reductions as the first step in this process.

A digital letterhead for the Office of the President could be found at the top of the email.
Photo sourced from email.

Many students seemed unsurprised at this news, noting that budget cuts have already affected everyday life at Ripon.

 

“It’s kind of concerning how ambiguous it is about what the ‘hard decisions’ are and what programs are going to be cut. It doesn’t seem like they are actually being transparent,” said Grace Larson, a senior.

 

Junior Parker Cox said, “It’s kinda scary how much they’re downplaying how bad the situation really is.”

 

While the letter was unclear about any specific action that was going to be taken, the letter asserts that “the coming months are going to require all of us to work harder with less.”

 

President Messitte also attended the Student Senate meeting on November 6th to discuss the state of the college. Though he acknowledged that some staff and faculty would have to be cut, he did not give any specific names or departments. Messitte also acknowledged that it will take the college approximately three years to close the current budget gap and that the financial troubles that the college is facing are not unique to Ripon.

 

Though it is still unclear specifically how Ripon College will be affected by these current financial troubles, students should be aware that changes will be coming.

 

Note: Parker Cox is a member of the College Days staff