American Jewish University announced Friday that it would “pause” undergraduate admissions and eliminate its current curriculum.
Recruiting for next year’s class will stop immediately, but the roughly 70 active students in the current undergraduate program will be able to complete their degrees, university president Jeffrey Herbst said in a statement.
“For decades, AJU has committed itself to serve its communities through diverse offerings for all ages – from children through our retirees - but has never been able to grow the undergraduate program to a size where it can provide a deep and broad educational experience,” Herbst said. “As a result, we have made this difficult decision to pause current undergraduate programming, but plan on using this opportunity to examine how best we can serve the young adult population looking for a unique academic and cultural experience.”
The plan, which has been approved by the university’s board of directors, will not affect AJU’s other programs, such as its rabbinical school or graduate schools. No faculty will be laid off due to this change, the university said.
Herbst, the former president of Colgate University and the Newseum in Washington, D.C., has been president of AJU since July. He said that AJU would be creating a working group to develop “a cutting-edge program that takes advantage of new technology and pedagogy in academics, and we view this opportunity as a unique chance for a university to fully engage in fresh thinking regarding undergraduate education.”
AJU also runs conference centers and a Jewish summer camp, among other programs. The university said in a statement that it is “healthy financially.”
American Jewish University ‘Pausing’ Undergrad Program