“It’s truly heartbreaking. We feel incredibly disrespected.”
The school is doing this because they are having enrollment issues.
Inside Higher Ed reports:
A Women’s College Goes Coed, and ‘Chaos Ensues’
One hundred and twenty-five years after its founding as the first Catholic university in the U.S. to grant four-year degrees to women, Notre Dame of Maryland University is going coed—much to the chagrin of many students and alumnae.
The only remaining women’s college in Maryland announced last Tuesday that it will begin enrolling undergraduate men in fall 2023. The decision was made at the recommendation of an enrollment task force assembled last year by the university’s Board of Trustees, which examined falling enrollment rates at women’s colleges across the country. NDMU’s own undergraduate enrollment has fallen significantly in recent years, from 1,169 in fall 2014 to 807 in fall 2021.
“The Board recognized that in order for NDMU to flourish for years to come, we needed to expand our mission,” Board of Trustees chair Patricia McLaughlin wrote in a statement.
Many current students and alumnae argue that by becoming a coeducational institution, the university is not expanding its mission but abandoning it. Each one who spoke to Inside Higher Ed said the shift would fundamentally alter the NDMU experience and that they were blindsided by the decision, which was made behind closed doors. (Note: This paragraph has been updated to include a link to NDMU’s stated mission. This article has been updated from an earlier version to correct several errors of fact and interpretation.)
“The decision was made entirely by the Board of Trustees, with no input from students, staff, faculty, or alumni,” said Alex Malinowski, a current senior at NDMU. “It’s truly heartbreaking. We feel incredibly disrespected.”
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