Cabrini alumni disappointed after announcement of staff and departmental cuts

By Megan Fee
April 28, 2021

Cabrini’s mansion in the summer. Photo by Cabrini Flickr.

After the recent announcement of the departmental and staff member cuts as a result of the restructuring plan, some alumni have been left upset, disappointed and with mixed feelings. 

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the restructuring plan includes cuts in Black studies, gender and body studies, religious studies, liberal studies, philosophy, human resources management, Spanish and nutrition, as well as secondary education certifications in biology and chemistry. Additionally, a master’s in biological sciences and two certificate programs are being cut and English and writing will now be merged as one major.

Michaela Schott, a 2010 human resources management alumna, was sad and disappointed to hear about the cut to the human resource department, as she has fond memories from her former department.

Michaela enjoying time with her husband Joe and daughter Whitney. Photo by Michaela Schott.

“Honestly, I was disappointed,” Schott said via email. “I knew that Cabrini really opened my eyes to the field and brought me a lot of great opportunities. The small class sizes and the relationships I was able to build with our professors made classes feel really intimate, which I think played a big part of what I enjoyed about Cabrini.”

Schott believes that the faculty and department had a major impact on her while she was at Cabrini and helped shape her into the professional that she is today. 

Meanwhile, Malachi Purnell, a 2019 Cabrini alumnus who majored in Spanish and also minored in religious studies, history, Latin American studies and sociology, was shocked and disappointed to learn about the cuts.

“I am diametrically opposed to the cuts,” Purnell said via email. “One cannot just combine majors and expect to keep the overall effect.” 

Like Schott, Purnell feels that Cabrini and his respective departments had a major influence in his life and helped him to become more passionate about various social justice issues.

Purnell explained that the courses offered by the Spanish department for both the Latin American studies minor and the Spanish major pushed him “toward a deeper desire to understand the cultures of the various peoples living in the Americas” and ultimately helped make him more enlightened about major and important societal issues “both locally and abroad.”

Cabrini sent out an email announcment explaining the department changes. Screenshot by Megan Fee

“I would be so much more closed-minded were it not for that department, which opened my eyes,” he said.

Purnell believes that these plans are “counterproductive” and believes that it could end up reducing the number of students that come to Cabrini in the future.

“Needless to say, Cabrini will certainly not be receiving another cent from me,” Purnell said. “A university that puts so much money into its gymnasium, dorms and random beautification projects whilst dropping courses, majors and departments has ultimately failed its number one purpose as an academic institution.”

Meanwhile, Schott explained that while she is disappointed, this will not have an impact on her support for Cabrini and that the school will always hold a special place in her heart.

“It was a memorable four years, it’s where I met my best friends and really started to learn who I was,” Schott said.

Megan Fee

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