MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Christian Brothers University is taking “extraordinary means” to balance a budget deficit of up to $7 million, which could result in cuts to faculty, departments and majors.

The private liberal arts college said in a statement on its website that it is “experiencing fundamental shifts that have negatively impacted our financial situation.”

These include a consistent decline in student headcount since 2018-19, failure to meet goals for first-time freshman enrollment for fall 2023, a drop in credit hour production from undergraduate students since 2018, and decreased on-campus housing occupancy, CBU said.

CBU says it is not closing, but with a projected deficit of $5-7 million, the university must take action now to cut $4 million from its operating budget.

A retrenchment committee will make recommendations for cuts to the university president. If a major or program is eliminated, CBU says freshmen enrolling for fall 2024 would be able to complete their program.  

Christian Brothers University, founded in 1871, has a total enrollment of 1,700, according to its website. U.S. News and World Report, ranked CBU as No. 13 in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges and Regional Universities South.

“CBU is a very intimate school, it’s very easy to get in touch with your dean and your professors and advisors,” said former student Ayvon Bess.

But the cuts have him concerned for his alma mater.

“Cutting the budget is alarming especially for the teachers, professors and students,” Bess said.