Saint John's Abbey monastic chapter authorizes creation of new civil corporation for SJU

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September 7, 2011

The following announcement was sent by Abbot John Klassen, OSB, and Fr. Robert Koopmann, OSB, president of Saint John's University.

On September 6, the monastic chapter of Saint John's Abbey authorized the creation of a new civil corporation for Saint John's University, to become effective July 1, 2012.  On September 7, the Corporate Board of Directors (Senior Council) of Saint John's Abbey also authorized this action.  The approved action will be formally presented to the Saint John's University Board of Regents for endorsement at their October 7 board meeting.

In 2006 the Abbey and University together began to work toward a reconfigured governance and management structure for the University.  The goals were to enhance governance authority for the University, reduce organizational complexity, and to strengthen the relationship between the Abbey and University into the future.  Five years of systematic, thoughtful, and deeply respectful dialogue, resulted in a decision to create a new University corporation.  The Prep School and Liturgical Press will remain operating divisions of the existing Abbey corporation.

The mutual commitments of the Abbey and University ensure that their close relationship will continue and the Catholic, Benedictine tradition integral to Saint John's will endure and flourish.  The University will remain as a major educational and pastoral work of the Abbey and the monks of Saint John's will remain a vital part of the University. 

Saint John's has followed a well-established path in creating a University corporation; many enterprises, including most Catholic colleges and universities sponsored by religious orders, have created independent corporations to fulfill their missions.  The creation of a University corporation broadens the involvement for securing the future of Saint John's University and maintaining and strengthening its Catholic and Benedictine character.  

The missions of the Abbey and University corporations will not change.  Looking forward, we remain deeply committed to sustaining and strengthening the historic and powerful relationship between Saint John's Abbey and Saint John's University.