A Message from President Fry
Drexel to Phase Out Operations in Sacramento
March 5, 2015
Yesterday I recommended to the Drexel board of trustees that we begin the process of phasing out Drexel University Sacramento. The trustees voted unanimously to support this recommendation. All currently enrolled students will be able to complete their studies as planned and earn their Drexel degree. However, Drexel will no longer recruit and enroll new students in any Sacramento program, and we will begin planning for the eventual closure of our One Capitol Mall facility.
As we aligned Drexel’s programs and operations in recent years to better focus on pressing priorities — improving academic quality, growing financial aid and increasing student retention — it became more and more apparent that our efforts in Sacramento no longer advance our mission as a research university. Moving forward, we believe Drexel can best serve students and society through degree programs in Philadelphia and online, an enhanced connection to Greater Philadelphia and new global academic and research partnerships.
The board did not take this decision lightly. It will affect people who have made deep commitments to Drexel and worked incredibly hard to try to make Drexel University Sacramento a success, as well as a community that embraced us. We will work closely to minimize the impact on all stakeholders and help them achieve their goals.
We are committed to operating in Sacramento until all currently enrolled students have the opportunity to earn their Drexel degree. Our faculty will continue to offer face-to-face, online and hybrid classes to students who will complete their programs, and our professional staff will serve our students as they progress to graduation. We will also continue to offer the extracurricular experience and career resources that are hallmarks of a Drexel education.
Drexel’s employees in Sacramento have set a high standard for professionalism and dedication under the leadership of Dr. Michael Marion, executive director and associate vice provost, and his predecessors Dr. Sandra Kirschenmann, Dr. Frank Linnehan and Tobey Oxholm. Our Human Resources group will work with each professional staff member, as his or her role winds down, to provide career counseling and explore future options. These will include networking with other institutions in the Sacramento region, connections to our corporate and nonprofit partners or consideration for another Drexel position if a move to Philadelphia is practical.
I want to make special mention of the many members of Drexel’s Philadelphia team who worked tirelessly to launch and support the operation of Drexel University Sacramento. Your work mattered, helping to educate hundreds of students and make a real impact on the Sacramento region.
Our Sacramento alumni, numbering nearly 500 to date, made a courageous decision when they chose Drexel. We’ve educated outstanding business, education and health professionals who represent a new generation of corporate and civic leaders for the Sacramento region. Fortunately, they will remain part of a close-knit community of more than 150,000 Drexel alumni worldwide, and the extensive services and outreach of our Alumni Relations Office will continue to be available to them. I expect that our Sacramento-area alumni, led currently by Dean O’Brien, will remain one our strongest groups.
The Sacramento Community
It has been a privilege to partner with the Sacramento community on a bold educational venture over the past six-plus years. I am grateful for the support we received from so many, including Mayor Kevin Johnson, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, real estate developers and philanthropists Angelo and Kyriakos Tsakopoulos and their partners and all the members of our advisory committee including current chair Bob Burris. Sacramento is a great place to live and do business, and an outstanding opportunity for a university whose strategy better aligns with serving the region. Drexel will wholeheartedly support any institution exploring new offerings in the region.
John A. Fry