A statement from the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees

The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees shares the following statement with the Marquette community.

Dear Marquette community,

We are at a critical time in the history of our university. We all understand the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and like higher education institutions across the country, we have also been working to address additional financial and structural challenges facing higher education. As a recent article in the New York Times noted, “Well before the pandemic, colleges and universities were already grappling with a growing financial crisis, brought on by years of shrinking state support, declining enrollment and student concerns with skyrocketing tuition and debt.” (“Colleges are Slashing Budgets,” Oct. 26, 2020)

More than three years ago, President Michael R. Lovell and the leadership of Marquette University recognized these looming challenges and shared their concern with the Board of Trustees and the Marquette community. At that time and continuing today, the Trustees and university leadership have committed that the Catholic, Jesuit nature of Marquette and the mission of the university must be maintained and strengthened through this difficult time.  This is what defines us as an institution and what makes a Marquette education different from many of our peers.  The strategic direction of Marquette is driven by this mission and commitment.  The leadership identified a proactive direction, strategically investing in areas to promote growth and to maintain our commitment to providing our students with a transformational education. In addition, the decision to have no tuition increase for the 2021-22 academic year was approved by the Board of Trustees to help our students earn their Marquette degrees and reduce their debt.

Leadership has been transparent, both about the challenges we face and the difficult decisions and actions needed to address those challenges.

We want to thank each member of Marquette’s faculty and staff for the work that you do each day to provide our students with a high quality education. We remain wholly committed to the principle of cura personalis – we care for all of the people who make up our community. The very tough decisions we will have to make that will impact staff and programs will be made with deep consideration and discernment reflecting our dual commitment to cura apostolica – the responsibility for the long-term well-being of our university. We must take seriously the impact that inaction would have on the mission of Marquette University and the generations of students to come. We face a future that looks different than our past, and our commitment is that the Marquette of the future move forward from these challenges with strength and vibrancy, staying true to our mission as a Catholic, Jesuit university.

The Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees remains fully informed, engaged and invested in the planning process put forth by university leadership. We have each taken this voluntary role on the Board because we love and care deeply about this institution. Ours is a responsibility of stewardship, to guide and inform the process, and maintain the mission of Marquette University for years to come.

We commend and give our full support to the leaders who are working to navigate this challenging landscape, and whose decisions and direction will transform Marquette University.