[ditty_news_ticker id="27897"] Orthodox Christian University of Saint Katherine Filing Bankruptcy, Closing May 18 - Orthodox Christian Laity

Orthodox Christian University of Saint Katherine Filing Bankruptcy, Closing May 18


Source: The National Herald

The University of Saint Katherine (USK) is a private Orthodox Christian school in San Marcos, CA. Photo: Facebook

SAN DIEGO, CA – President and founder Frank Papatheofanis announced on April 25 that the University of Saint Katherine (USK), a private Orthodox Christian school in San Marcos, “is shutting down indefinitely and filing for bankruptcy,” the San Diego Union-Tribune (SDUT) reported, adding that “in an email to students, faculty and staff members that circulated on social media, he said the institution could no longer meet its financial obligations due to ‘a steep shortfall in operating cash.’”

“Multiple reasons for this shortfall include extraordinary inflation, higher-than-anticipated salary increases, and high institutional student financial aid,” Papatheofanis said, SDUT reported. “The same factors have resulted in the closure of many small colleges and universities across the county.”

“The university’s closing date is May 18, Papatheofanis said in an email Friday [April 26],” SDUT reported, noting that “he declined an interview, but shared [a]statement.”

“The University of Saint Katherine is a non-profit Hispanic- and minority-serving institution that will close at the end of this semester,” Papatheofanis said in the statement, SDUT reported. “As a WASC-accredited institution, we offered many undergraduate and graduate degree programs at one of the lowest tuition rates in California. Financial pressure due to unprecedented inflation and rising state-mandated labor costs prevent us from continuing this valuable work while remaining affordable.”

In the April 25 statement, “Papatheofanis said that he and the school’s Board of Trustees had ‘vigorously explored multiple options that might allow us to continue. Unfortunately, none of these has proven viable,’” SDUT reported, noting that “he added that the institution is filing for bankruptcy and would ‘continue to pursue and consider any opportunity we can identify.’”

“Thursday’s announcement, issued just days before final exams, was sudden and took many by surprise,” SDUT reported, adding that “the school’s Athletics Department and others took to social media to express their thoughts.”

“Our hearts break for our student-athletes at the conclusion of their Firebird careers, and we pray for their continued success as they move forward,” read a statement from the Athletics Department, SDUT reported. “Our beach volleyball team is currently competing in the NAIA National Invitational and will continue to do so. They are excited about the opportunity to play for a national championship this Friday and Saturday.”

“On Friday, students and faculty were seen packing up and questioning what comes next,” SDUT reported, noting that “among them was senior student Chloe Thompson.”

“I’m so hurt by this,” she told SDUT. “I’m supposed to graduate on May 18. Now, I don’t even know if they’ll have graduation. My parents bought airline tickets and were going to fly here from Alabama. This is shocking.”

“Evan Getz, chair of the university’s Arts and Humanities department, said he was ‘deeply grateful’ that he was able to teach at the USK,” SDUT reported.

“The faculty and students are marvelous,” he told SDUT. “It is the most collegiate atmosphere I have ever known. I am sad, but grateful. I need to find a new job. I have four children.”

“Several years ago, the school envisioned becoming a nationally and internationally recognized residential institution of 5,000 undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate studies,” SDUT reported, adding that “it planned to do so by relocating from San Marcos to Chula Vista.”

“USK was one of several schools Chula Vista had talked with in hopes of finally bringing a four-year institution to its University and Innovation District,” SDUT reported, noting that “in November 2018, that dream seemed closer to reality” as “the university began negotiating an option to lease 10 acres of the South County city’s 383-acre, undeveloped university and technology park in Otay Ranch.”

“Plans included the development of ‘a multi-institutional university campus, including the development and construction of facilities for approximately 1,000 full-time students, student housing for approximately 400 students, and other infrastructure,’ according to the agreement,” SDU reported, adding that “lease negotiations were unsuccessful, however, and the agreement expired last year, Michele Clock, the city’s spokesperson, said Friday [April 26].”

“There were no specific factors that led to the negotiations being unsuccessful, she added,” SDUT reported, pointing out that “the university, which operated from a large office building on Rancheros Drive near Ronald Packard Parkway, was founded in 2010 and offered more than two dozen undergraduate and three graduate programs of study. It enrolled about 300 students, mostly from California.”



  1. Cato the Elder on

    Apparently the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and it’s enablers in Leadership 100 and FAITH, an Endowment for Hellenism and Orthodoxy, could not be expected to bail out this Orthodox Christian College whose enrolment was 300 mostly Hispanic and minority students.

    Instead they manage to keep Hellenic College, with an enrolment of 39 afloat .. on life support!

    That says a lot about how Orthodox the Greeks are. The Greek Archdiocese of America is led by an Archbishop whose flock is in America. He is probably still a Turkish citizen. Yet, he refers to Greece as his homeland!

    So what? Isn’t ethnophyletism a Greek word?

    • Jupiter's Son on

      The GOA is a collection of Greek social clubs at prayer. It’s now over a century old but still led by a chief hierarch with a heavy accent. Nor should anyone expect an American-born chief hierarch anytime soon. The Ecumenical Patriarchate needs to maintain its tight grip on the GOA, which is its financial umbilical cord. And yes, the Archbishop is a Turkish citizen. He’s not going to give up his Turkish citizenship because his ambition is to succeed Bartholomew as Ecumenical Patriarch.

      • It is what it is. Take it or leave it. The USA has many options available for the taking.

        Attempts to change the climate and operating conditions in the GOA are futile. Life is just too short to worry about making any changes whatsoever. Amen

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