Position Paper of the Consultants based on information from the Co-Institutional Study Committee and Visits to the Campus Continued

For the same period, i.e., 1964-1965, Saint John’s claimed $1,885,000 outstanding debt on facilities and Saint Benedict claimed $1,944,041. Each sponsoring Order in effect operates a substantial part of the institution through contributed services and each order is the guarantor for outstanding indebtedness. At Saint Benedict the Order assumed half of the cost of the Fine Arts Center and has made the payment on principal on the other half for the past two years. At Saint John’s, of course, the Order is the corporate entity hence is responsible. Until 1967-68, neither institution had prepared long range fiscal plans and the ones now available are simply best estimates of several individuals in each business office. 4

Such a picture reveals if not a precarious financial pictures at least not a strong one. Should either or both institutions experience a drop in student enrollment, the sponsoring Orders would be expected to make-up the difference in income and expenditure fore such things as lay salaries and cost of services are expected to increase. Further plans for future expansion are predicted on expansion of enrollment and increases in tuition coupled with some economics in present operations. The question then comes whether cooperation or merger will help or hinder the financial vitality of each institution. One point of view argues that joining to two weak financial operations will simply create a third of the same sort. But another view is that the two institutions joined would face no dangers which they don’t already face individually and a union does present opportunities for greater financial strength.

Still another element is the fact that in addition to the colleges, each Order operates a secondary school located on the same campus. The secondary school at Saint Benedict operates for about sixty girls which is about half capacity. It was initiated at the request of the Bishop for the region who also contributed the buildings. The preparatory school at Saint John’s is also relatively small and there is some sentiment among St. John’s faculty to close it. If the two institutions united, the question would arise as to the disposition of these two schools. The principals of each believe that the schools should be continued and that they could be merged as well as the colleges. However, another point of view is that the private secondary education in the Minnesota region is on the decline and that facilities now used for secondary school purposes could better be converted to college uses.

Opinions: Pro and Con
Especially in such institutions such as Saint John’s and Saint Benedict the feelings or faculty and administration about the institutions and their future are of critical importance.. The religious, through contributed service, sustain each college. The religious, since they follow the Rule of Saint Benedict, assume they will spend their lives in one location. Thus, to contemplate major change in institutional structure is to contemplate deep personal change as well. To determine what feelings were, a considerable portion of time has been spent seeking to identify opinion and feeling and to assess its power. Members of the Inter-institutional Committee interviewed a sample of faculty and administration on both campuses. The three consultants spent most of their time interviewing individuals and groups in an effort to discover what people believed. And a questionnaire was distributed to obtain even more precise estimates of this fundamental matter.

Generally there seems to be the feeling that, although there are major problems to be overcome, closer cooperation or outright merger of the two institutions is necessary.5 The Abbot of Saint John’s and the Prioress of Saint Benedict see a merger as being desirable with the Abbot somewhat more inclined to move quickly than the Prioress. The Presidents of the two institutions present a different problem. The President of Saint John’s wants cooperation, is willing to consider seriously merger, but also is faced with such political realities as the expectations of the Associate Board of Trustees. The President at Saint Benedict has resigned but has at last decided that a merger is possible and that Saint Benedict will not be swallowed up. The two academic deans seem generally supportive of a merger. Indeed, they seem to reflect more enthusiasm than any other administrative group. The business officers see things quite differently. The one for Saint Benedict sees either cooperation or merger as possibilities and is inclined to favor the latter. The Saint John’s officers are skeptical that cooperation at its present level can work. It seems to them that Saint John’s is in effect subsidizing Saint Benedict. They would prefer that Saint John’s simply absorb Saint Benedict but would also support a complete merger if Saint John’s were granted the balance of power. Illustrative is the quip that should a merger take place, the new institution should take the first part of Saint Benedict’s name and the last part of Saint John’s name. In general, the student personnel workers on each campus are supportive of some kind of merger but the Dean of Students at Saint John’s believes a less protective attitude toward students should prevail while the Dean of Students at Saint Benedict is afraid it will. Counselors, registrars and other such officers seem generally supportive.

Faculty opinion is more difficult to interpret. Religious faculty seem generally more apprehensive about a full merger than do lay faculty; although one consultant felt that the reverse was true, especially among the lay faculty at Saint Benedict. However, these apprehensions are not serious with some important exception. If faculty have had a good experience with cooperation in such efforts as a joint department, they are inclined to view a merger as probably sound. But if they serve in departments in which there have been personality conflicts, they are inclined to be skeptical. There is a strong feeling on the part of Saint John’s faculty members that they are stronger, better prepared, and ought t be the leaders in any cooperative venture. The Saint Benedict faculty believe such a view is held but are inclined to dispute its validity. Saint Benedict’s religious faculty, w hen their training is equal to that of their counterparts at Saint John’s, feel they should be asked to teach specialized courses as well as basic ones. Neither lay faculty seem particularly disturbed by the thought of possible merger. A few could see that such an eventuality would result in faculty size. But the lack of tradition of faculty power and militancy operates and they are not critical of decisions which might even harm them personally.

The Boards of Trustees are, of course, religious. While individual members may have reservations, the two groups appear willing to consider not only cooperation but even the creation of a new entity through merger. Members do, of course, raise such graves questions as how to allocate Order-held resources but assume that somehow such matters can be resolved.

A general feeling among faculty is that the ultimate decision about cooperation or merger really rests with the administration -by which is meant the Presidents and the Abbott and Prioress. If they decide that merger is in order and will so indicate through action, the merger will take place. Unless they do, the faculty does not possess the requisite leadership to move the institutions in any directions.

To indicate the sorts of comments faculty member made, resumes of two interviews are presented.

Quotes from Interviews conducted by member of St. John’s Faculty

“What’s this coordinate colleges bit about? Is that the best we can do for higher education? What’s so different about that from what we have now? Why do we have to have an arrangement which depends so much on how well people get along? So one minute you got something and then poof, somebody gets upset. Who wants to work under such indecision? So what do we do about the areas we can’t coordinate because of personalities or must this be tolerated? O.K. so we’ve got student exchange, what else are we exchanging tuition, expenses, faculty, committees, decisions, respect? Why should we if we are picking up a loser? It cannot work, you can’t serve two masters. Be honest, you cannot continue to rate each other and expect to get along.”

“Let’s merge completely. It’ll be one big headache, but maybe it’ll go away. On second though, merge for what? Who’s merging with whom, it makes a difference you know. The word “merge” is out, not well liked anymore, requires too much give, we have too much to lose, so much human efforts has gone into making what we have now, we’ve got to keep our image, our identity.  Why absorb a problem? But we don’t want to be absorb…There is nothing to be absorbed…Just why are you courting us…charity of course…we should be coed…we will be, it’s a matter of time, so will we, sooo.”

“Hey hold on…girls are different, their needs are different, there is still a place for girls’ schools and men’s. Let’s not lower our quality of education. Their goals and aims are different.”

“We are over-administered, one for each two faculty. Don’t believe me, just count them once, and that does not include the secretaries…They tell we are adding more…that’s one for every 30 students…”

“Monks and sisters work to pay the lay faculty salaries. Look at the contributed services. Getting rid of lay staff will help solve our fiscal problems! We are too big.”

“Perhaps the lay boards will best be able to decide what is best. They have less to lose personally.”

“Given good will, difficulties amongst faculty members can be resolved. It doesn’t follow that if two ‘losing institutions’ merge that they will solve anything financially.”

“You know it’s cheaper to maintain a lower quality staff. If we are so poor maybe our higher priced staff and perhaps more experienced should be encouraged to leave.”

“Let’s see some possible models of cooperation…talking about cooperation is like talking about God, we are all for it or Him but we all have our own ideas.”

“Cooperation should not be viewed as an end product but rather an activity, something that should go on continually. We should strive to foresee what is best for education and build toward it.”

“My immediate concern is with faculty relationships; let the faculty discuss long term objectives and choose models to give guidelines to the administration…I would not like to see the percentage of lay professors decline; they are the very source of my professional associations..interim management of cooperation could be different from long term arrangements…Let’s not try to do it all at once…the crucial questions seem now to be administrative and fiscal if further development is to be encouraged…”

“Many students prefer their ‘own’ campus. Maybe this will change with new students. In fact, it probably differs with our present classes. Joint activities should have a joint committee…someone on the administration should have something to say about what activities the students are scheduling for midweek; mixers seem to conflict with concerts. We need more joint discussion on developing problems and opportunities…because of different policies it is difficult to know who to call or get in touch with. The organization of student services is vague at this time…I don’t feel free to call…We should have some discussion on dormitory policies…inter-visitations are becoming common at Saint John’s. There is not central office for social activities…Do students really feel at home on the other campus? There seems to be more exodus of freshmen on weekends than upper classmen.”

“We have a full staff; what will we do if more religious become available? I understand the religious salaries at Saint Benedict have risen sharply to benefit from faculty employment at Saint John’s…Not much at Saint John’s to be gained by cooperation in this department…They have few students in this area…no equipment…no library additions…It’s a big opportunity for them.”

“It’s too late to begin exchanging students at the upper division level. Not properly prepared at the freshmen level, there is a difference in emphasis; very few of their students go on to advanced study; very few work professionally in this area…There would be a big savings for Saint Benedict if we ordered our materials jointly.”

“Cooperation is necessary. If you don’t think so, cut off all student exchange and see what happens.”

“Having this joint study committee gives both institutions a chance to develop something together. If they can’t then we have go on alone. We cannot let either be a drag on the other. If nothing comes of this study, we should co-education on our own. At least we are now giving each other an opportunity to work together before doing things on our own. This is something we should have to do even if nothing comes of it.”

“Instead of constantly looking at our differences, we should look at our likeness, our strengths, those areas in which cooperation is possible and perhaps fruitful. We should complement one another on occasion. There is much we both do for higher education, let’s think positively…”

“Gosh, we as students haven’t given too much thought to cooperation and its possibilities…We haven’t heard much about what the committee is doing. There are a lot of problems with transportation now as well as with communication…When I came to Saint Benedict I also felt that Saint John’s was available to me…We no longer feel so much about invading each other’s campus…We are beginning to be accepted…We feel there is hostility amongst the faculty…”

Summary of Faculty Interviews Conducted by Faculty Member from Saint Benedict

The following summary notes are derived from interviews of ten CSB faculty members (six religious, four lay members). Each person interviewed was asked to pinpoint the strengths or weaknesses, the advantages or disadvantages, and the expectations and fears they perceived in a CSB/SJU cooperation venture.

General Impressions

Five persons viewed cooperation as having great possibilities if the proper plan could be conceived to carry it in action. One said it may be necessary, but expressed doubt about its final outcome. At least three persons thought we should try to go it alone. Others were less ready to make or give a definitive answer.

Departmental Progress

Great variation appeared in these responses from very little to almost complete fusion. Three persons felt that greater honesty in viewing goals and in making departmental adjustments was needed. Curriculum revision and more professional attitudes were also mentioned. Much departmental difficulty stems from personality clashes and serious mistrust.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Most persons interviewed agreed that there are strengths to be found on both campuses. SJU has a greater number of PhDs, library and science facilities, while CSB has its fine arts program, better student discipline and produce better teachers. Both schools have strengths in various academic levels and fields. Four persons saw no great differences in academic standards and generally no significant differences philosophies of the schools. One respondee saw a great difference and another felt there was a dichotomy but that it was not a competitive difference.


Probably the greatest problem lies in the uncertainty of intentions of SJU. Do they really want cooperation or are they trying to phase us out? What kind of cooperation are we saying yes or no to? Do their actions support their words? There is a general feeling of mistrust of the institution. At the same time there exists an impression that SJU is deluded about their own greatness and their contribution to the cooperative effort.  We are not really entering a partnership. On the other hand CSB is too timid in listing their strengths.


Some look to a plan for coordinate college as a possible solution, but plead for strong and clear guidelines and much careful study. Many questions concerning the role of the religious communities must be explored before a realistic plan can be laid out. Several suggested that we continue to go it alone. Almost all recognized the overall financial hurdle to be faced.

There is a willingness to continue to investigate the possibilities of a cooperative venture, but there is also a strong demand for honesty and sincerity in our dealings with one another, coupled with an effort to understand and appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of each institution.”

Responses to an opinionaire conducted with faculty members from both institutions generally tend to support the feelings and opinions fathered during various interviews. These are summarized below.


I.                    Experience

I have been involved in the cooperative program by…

Yes No
Teaching a course on the “other campus” 22 77
Teaching a course on my “home campus” with students of both campuses 67 30
Teaching in a department involved in cooperation on a large scale 52 52
Teaching in a department where little cooperation has developed 46 50
Teaching in a department which as not yet been involved in the cooperative program 15 74
Working in a non-course situation 30 59

No comments

II.                 Present Evaluation of Some Aspects of the Cooperative Program

How successful do you currently view these aspects of the cooperative program?

a.       Enriched program of instruction by enlarged and increased offerings

Greatly enriched: 26
Somewhat: 67
Barely: 6
Not at all: 9

b.      Enriched program of instruction by strengthened program

A great deal: 21
Some: 63
A little: 15
Not at all: 9

c.       Improvement and enrichment of library services

Much improved: 12
Improved: 34
Somewhat: 35
Not at all: 27

d.      More opportunities for faculty to teach in their specialties

Much: 13
Some: 43
Minimal: 22
None: 14

e.       More effective utilization of physical resources:

Very effective: 14
Quite: 29
Somewhat: 50
Not at all: 18

f.    More effective utilization of personnel

Very good: 18
Good: 40
Little: 45
None: 10

g.    Duplication of offerings reduced or eliminated

Reduced greatly: 17
Somewhat: 49
A little: 37
Not at all: 5

No comments

III.               Future Projection

Do you think that wider and expanded cooperation will result in..

Yes No
More effective use of human resources 111 3
More effective use of physical resources 105 9
Improved and/or expanded education opportunities for Students 116 4
Wider choice of majors for students 98 17
Sharing of specialiests and lectures 112 3
Professional sharing with more faculty members 105 9
Reduction in or elimination of dublication of offerings 108 6
Economy of operation 103 11
Enhanced Community Service 92 21
Joint faculty planning (hiring, salaries, tenure, etc.) 101 10


“In the light of this question, it strikes me as rather significant that nowhere is increased opportunity for scholarly research mentioned. Certainly expanded cooperation should strive for reduction of teaching load and increased opportunity for research by those faculty desiring to engage in research.”

“All of these could expand, but only if there is cooperation from both sides.”

“My answer to each item in this section will be yes if the administration are able to cope with administrative problems (finance, staffing, etc.) “of wider and expanded cooperation.” When this is accomplished, I anticipate a very effective cooperation program, but not before then.”

IV.              Physical Facilities and Equipment:

At what level do you see cooperative use of the following facilities? Do you see more sharing in the future?

Much Little None No Opinion Much Same None No opinion
Library 55 48 3 7 86 16 2 8
Auditoriums 40 50 11 9 84 26 0 6
Gymnasiums 6 27 44 27 17 41 27 18
Science Labs 40 44 4 22 81 12 1 13
Language Labs 25 32 10 36 62 24 2 18
Art Facilities 51 39 1 19 86 11 1 9
Theatre Facilities 73 20 4 10 87 10 1 7
Music Facilites 33 40 12 24 72 20 2 14
Recreational Rooms 19 50 8 27 53 31 1 19
Bookstore 19 49 15 24 59 31 3 15
General Classrooms 29 59 7 13 66 28 3 9
Computer 31 34 4 37 68 18 1 19
Radio Station 24 27 16 35 58 24 2 20


“I see no reason why there could not be an increased sharing straight across the board.”

“I think all these hinge on administrative plans that are as yet undetermined. Information is currently insufficiently complete to have good grounds for opinions.”

Libraries: “These libraries should be come organized together, i.e., CSB as a branch of SJU library.”

V.                 Departments and Courses

Yes No No opinion
I favor one department in each discipline with a single chairmen 70 37 7
I favor one department with co-chairmen 45 62 8
I favor two departments with occasional sharing 11 90 5
I favor two departments and no sharing 0 101 1
Courses in one discipline should be alternated between campuses 21 63 22
Courses in one discipline should be offered on the campus where the largest number of students registered for the course reside 63 30 15
The teacher best qualified to teach the course should be assigned to the course regardless of campus affiliation 102 2 7


“I favor a merger, otherwise each campus become co-ed immediately and we perpetuate the insane competition of seven Catholic colleges, of 15 colleges in Minnesota, duplicating facilities.”

“Federation of all science departments is desirable.”

“I would favor (a) and (g) if there were a common type general curriculum plan, a common fee scale, and a common estimate of what constitutes the normal faculty load.”

VI.              General

Yes No No comment
I view cooperation as a threat to the institution’s identity 18 90 1
I view the program as having a negative effect on my position in the institution 8 103 1
I view the differences between the two institutions too great to be overcome or resolved 0 108 2
Though there are differences, I believe they can be resolved with carefully planning 112 1 2
Because similar objective and the same philosophy support the two institutions, other differences can be resolved too 91 7 10


“I view cooperation as the only solution to many of the crucial problems we face.”

“I am convinced that at the present time, cooperation at the administrative level is most essential -especially in financial policies, admissions, and top-level planning. When a strong effort is made in these areas, faculty members will be more courageous.”

“Merger is the only solution.”

“Federation in both groups now impute certain characteristics to the other group. We could well afford to use a ‘workshop’ conducted by professional group process training consultants to see whether SJU and CSB are ‘hearing’ and ‘perceiving.’”

“The issues involved should be faced realistically by both institutions: all double talk should be avoided.”

“Cooperation has a different meaning on the two campuses. Define ‘cooperation.’”

VII.            Are there issues which you see as impediments to the cooperative program which have not been identified in these questions?

“Yes, issues involving cooperation between Convent of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s Abbey.”

“Unequal admission standards.”

“Quality of student body, quality of faculty, grading practices, admissions practices.”

“CSB has NCATE standing, SJU failed their NCATE inspection. Will cooperation push their standing up or pull ours down or both? SJU has given a good deal of evidence to us in recent years that both their faculty and administration can be quite casual about many things which we take much more seriously. Related to this problem is their independence of movement. It is not a rare occurrence to find Saint John’s moving ahead alone -without consulting us or providing us with information -on projects that were engaged jointly. There appears to be fear on this campus that SJU would like to assume all the more pleasant aspects of college existence and leave us with the “dirty work.” But a far more serious problem will be, I think, the convincing a number of SJU staff that CSB staff and students are not academic insects.”

“I think there is a segment at Saint John’s that feels that Saint Benedict and its students are second rate. Such thinking implies and exaggerated self-impression that will need to be face openly.”

“Unequal faculty salaries, reluctance to hire religious from CSB on high salary scale; entire accounting system, faculty beyond retirement age.”

“I think more information about the financial situation of each school and administrative problems would help some faculty members view the need for cooperation in a more positive manner and would speed the process.”

“Fate of departmental chairmen and professors where duplication exists; perhaps even departments.”

“Each must bargain in good faith.”

“Personal grievances, dislikes and pettiness.”

“I think there are many uncertainties that are hindering the present cooperation. If the faculty could just be informed of some interest on the part of the administration to provide security where it is deserved, further interest in the program would be displayed. Many are concerned about tenure, fringe benefits, etc. If a merger takes place, they want to know which ‘fiddler’ will call the tunes!”

“The lower administration standards of CSB will be a problem especially as the girls become enrolled in more of the courses taught on this campus. They are not able to make the grades here as is evident in some disciplines.”

“Personal antagonisms appear to be impediments although they may not be insurmountable. I can foresee some problems if total merger were in question, but I believe your question does not imply this.

VIII.         A) In your opinion, do decisions for further cooperation rest on the administrative level, faculty level, or departmental level?

B) If your answer is “administrative level” do you view this body as the legal Board of Trustees or the principal administrators of the college or university? (presidents, deans, etc.)

“The more initiative on the departmental level the more real and peaceful I believe cooperation will be. I think it particularly important that the decisions be made on the faculty level and, if possible, that they not be decisions imposed by administration. The decision should be one of consensus. I think administration could perhaps motivate us to consider cooperation (if we are laggards) by making the financial situation clearer.”

“I would like to know what the Board of Trustees thinks of uniting the two institutions. I f they are against it and have the final say, I guess it is on that level we need movement.”

“The principal administration would support enthusiastically further cooperation if they were supported by faculties and departments.”

“Business offices are major blocks in developing the program; administrators appear to ‘make haste slowly,’ thus budget problems are not solved.”

“I think considerable work needs to be done on the administrators level, so that when departments would like to work on a shared program, there is a common understanding of what financial arrangements can or should be made. Perhaps this has been decided but I am not aware of such information.”

“All three, but keep as many identities possible: (under b.) both but no submersion of one.”

“I think that on the level of initiation, what is required is a strong and unequivocal stand taken for cooperation on the part of both administration, who would then see to it that this stand were implemented on the departmental level, and would remain attuned to the temper of the faculty. I say this because I think the consensus of both faculties recognize the need for cooperation, but the decisions working this consensus out on a practical level must come from a centralized source. A program as vital to the future of both colleges as cooperation is, cannot simply be left to ‘work itself out’ without authority guiding it. At the same time, of course, each department and the individuals on the faculties should maintain the degree of academic freedom which they enjoy at this time.”

IX.              A well-developed cooperative program should “increase communication between faculties, between faculties and students -a communication hat will offer opportunity to learn for the only person for whom the college exists, the student. 6

Do you envision the CSB/SJU Co-Institutional Program Achieving this goal?

“The advantages are too great and the schools are similar enough to facilitate extensive cooperation or merger. This does not mean it will be easily done.”


“No, not as it is stated because faculty does not now define the goals of the college in this same way. The faculty has needs to be filled to in maintaining a college, legitimate needs, some of them. Personally, I would be happy to see this goal become more ‘felt’ by a faculty here, but some of us act as if we need to control or impose our standards on students. This does not permit goal IX, except as a verbal value.”

“Hopefully yes, with an emphasis on our apostolate as a Catholic College.”

“Definitely. To me it has the one obvious advantage of offering the possibility for more specialization in the faculty. It would also mean better use of specialized facilities. From my standpoint, cooperation could have nothing but a positive result if we honestly face the problems all of us are aware of. If it means lowering of standards or the quality of education offered, it would be disastrous.”

In the light of the backgrounds of the two institutions, opinions of faculty and experience with cooperation, several major problems emerge which must be solved if further cooperation or merger is to be effective. Some must be resolved regardless of cooperation if institutional viability is to be assured. Others become directly relevant only if merger is to be attempted.

The first is the matter of location and its impact on student enrollment. The two institutions are located in a relatively isolated part of Minnesota. In the past both institutions recruited students chiefly from rural Minnesota but that source is no longer productive. The question then arises as to whether the institutions can appeal to students from urban areas and from states outside of the Middle West. It seems reasonable that they must if the required numbers of students attend to support a growing educational program. But how two such institutions can compete with the growing number of low cost tax and supported institutions in the states most logical as new sources of students is not so easily answered. Clearly both institutions must exist or one tor the other must become a coeducational school if students are to be attracted. It seems likely that a combined institution could offer somewhat richer curriculum then could either of the institutions alone. It also seems likely that the two merged could do so more efficiently than the two could do acting separately. But there is still question whether even an enriched curriculum in two institutions characterized by free mingling of the sexes will be sufficient. Additional impetus is probably needed. Fortunately, each institution now has intellectual and physical plant resources which could be exploited to gain greater recognition for the two schools. The art center at Saint Benedict and t hat Abbey Church at Saint John’s together with a newly created Center Ecumenical Studies could, if properly used, attract scholars and events, which might then attract students form more distant places.

The second involves the matter of administrative structure and leadership. Administrative leadership of both institutions is mixed between the Orders and the colleges. The presidents clearly serve at the pleasure of the heads of the Orders although the Saint John’s president is given a term appointment. The fiscal authority generally seems to reside with the Orders mores o than with the colleges. At Saint John’s, the chief fiscal officer is the treasurer of the Order and a member of the board of Trustees. At Saint Benedict, there is a lay business manager but the treasurer of the Order seems more influential in fiscal decisions. Other officers such as dean and heads of operating offices seem also affected by the unclear distinction between the Order and the college. It seems clear at this point that a clarification of role is essential. Especially so, if the college should merge.

A third issue is perhaps the most severe imponderable of all. At present, because the Orders are so closely related to the colleges there is a well-accepted responsibility for each Order to provide the colleges with strong faculty members. But if a merger should be attempted, would that responsibility be accepted in the same degree it presently is? Would, for example, the Convent choose to send its stronger people into hospitals, or the Monastery, to send its strongest faculty to teach in secular institutions? There is no way really to assess this matter. Both the Abbot and the Prioress indicate a strong concern for the colleges and a resolve to support them even if a new structure is developed. But how firm the resolve would be after the fact is at this point moot. If merger is to be the solution, the terms of agreement should make quite explicit the degree of responsibility each Order would assume and for how long.

A related issue is what would be the attitude of religious to a new organization not organically related to the Order to which members have dedicated their lives. In the past young people have entered there two Saint Benedict. And because of the tradition of the Orders) members Orders in full anticipation that they would teach at Saint John’s or stood ready to obey the requests of their religious superiors; Increasingly, however, young religious expect to have a say in their careers and to be able to resist a post in which they felt uncomfortable. The question arises -would religious faculty accept posts at either institution even if the religious superior wished them to do so? It might be that young religious would prefer some other more satisfying career than appointment to a college located in an isolated area, which was not a definite part of the community, which they had joined.

From these derive part of the central financial issue. These two colleges find it increasingly necessary to employ lay faculty for the numbers of young people entering both religious Orders has been decreasing for some years. Thus, at a time when costs of higher education are increasing, the living endowment, which is what the contributed services of religious faculty is, is being reduced. The question is whether that endowment can be replaced by other sources and if it can, are the chances better if the institutions join rather than operating independently. Thus far neither institution has been particularly successful although Saint John’s did receive, a substantial 4 million dollar gift for endowment. But each now has a development office the heads of which believe that new sources can be found and each of these spends considerable time cultivating various federal sources. Without entering into all extended discussion of the techniques of development work, it can be suggested that some form of dramatic program will be necessary to attract resources from private givers. Saint Benedict does not have a large alumnae on whom it can count and the graduates of Saint John’s, although more numerous, are not wealthy. Generally, parents of both groups of students are of modest means. The Saint John’s average income for parents is only about $9,000 and only about a fifth of the fathers of Saint Benedict students are classified as professionals or managers. Thus, if outside funding is to be secured, it must come from such sources as corporations foundations, and the general public. If somehow imaginative use could be made of the Arts Center and the Center for Ecumenical Studies as a base for a program and if the serene location could be exploited) the institutions might secure the necc18d funds. Certainly, neither institution gains it alone with nothing more than the current programs can be expected to succeed.

Of a different order, but still of significance, is the differing roles of the sexes and the attitudes toward relationships between the sexes found in Catholic institutions. There appears to be a definite feeling of male superiority on the Saint John’s campus and an attitude of meekness and submissiveness on the Saint Benedict campus. While the religious from Saint Benedict are rapidly changing such things as style of dress, freedom to move about the world and freedom to deal with their mal counterparts, they still typically seem more inclined to remain silent in joint councils. Such a stance would seem to preclude any real cooperation or merger without the threat of complete dominate by the male institution. Further, it may be that the tradition of the cloister in the lives of nuns does affect their approach to student living, scholarship and the aims of education. the student affairs effort at Saint Benedict continues to be protective while at Saint John’s there has been a serious effort to free students’ personal lives. Room visitation, for example, is now allowed. A student remarked that a nun professor of German concentrated on Catholic writers because of the sexual openness of some of the contemporary non-Catholic German writers. And at least some of the religious at Saint Benedict see the aim of education as the preparation of gentle women prepared to become wives and mothers preoccupied with children, Church and kitchen. Now a serious question can be raised whether the two institutions can function as organic parts of a single entity. Probably they can, but to do so all involved must be prepared to modify quite fundamental attitudes.


Several options are open for these two institutions ranging from simple continuation of present styles of activity to complete merger with the creation of a new corporate entity. Each is flawed and each as positive merits.

I.                    Continue as two independent colleges with cooperation at present level, i.e., for some exchange of faculty and students and some cooperation between some administrative offices. This in no sense alleviates the financial problems of either institution and seems indeed top lace a heavier drain on Saint John’s for which some of its faculty see no real returns. Further, the present unorganized way of accounting for the services causes considerable irritation on both campuses. And there is no administrative office with authority to coordinate arrangements. Lacking coordination each institution continues its plans for its own campus development with eventual probable duplication of such facilities as residence halls, student centers and physical education facilities. On the plus side, some departments have developed a warm feeling of cooperation and increase number of students do take courses on the other campus. In spite of these gains, the present level of cooperation seems to cause enough frustration so that if allowed to continue would result in regression to an earlier isolationist stance.

II.                 Two institutions operating independently. Some on the Saint John’s campus would like to see this development with an attendant decision for Saint John’s to become coeducational. They reason that present excess residence hall space could be used for girls and that they likely would attract some of the girls who now attend Saint Benedict. And this is probably true. Several alumni have indicated they would like to send their daughters to Saint John’s and only reluctantly send them to Saint Benedict. But several problems intrude. First is the question of campus mix at Saint John’s. Just to add fifty or 100 girls in a 1400 m an campus would accomplish littler, either for students or the institution. And to try to develop an evenly mixed population would jeopardize the entire campus flavor which after all monastic. Further, many physical facilities were built for a male population and these would need to be rebuilt. Now this last is clearly not insuperable but to do so rests up on the assumption that enough female students would indeed be recruited. If present admissions policies were to be continued and Saint John’s became coeducational, it seem s reasonable that some girls from Saint Benedict would shift and that few more girls from the Minnesota pool would attracted. It must be remember that Minnesota has a static population and is well supplied with Catholic girls schools, e.g., St. Scholastic, St. Theresa, and St. Catherine.

Since enrollments at Saint Benedict would be affected, and since that institution seems to have a powerful urge to survive, a logical consequence to a coeducational Saint John’s would be a move on the part of Saint Benedict to become coeducational as well. This would generate rather fierce competitions for the same students, for both institution, presently recruited from the same region and in similar kinds of high schools. Given the facts of population growth neither institution could be expected to grow appreciably in size.

Of course, each could broaden its admissions effort and attempt to recruit students from the larger urban areas of Middle West and from the Eastern seaboard. But do so successful, each would need to develop a greater distinctiveness than either now has now has the capacity for doing so. Saint Benedict probably does not have the necessary financial resources to mount a major recruitment effort (four or five field representatives) and Saint John’s would need to create a new image of something other than a monastic institution existing for eastern or urban students, a wilderness. The true result of such efforts would thus be costly competition at a time when neither institution can afford it. For clearly, in order for each to attract a larger coeducational student body, each would need to create new facilities which for the most part would be duplicative.

III. Return to the status quo ante cooperative efforts and restrictions on enrollments and lay faculty. This seems an unrealistic solution because it would probably result in a steady decline at Saint Benedict and an eventual decline at Saint John’s. It now appears that single sex institutions are not as attractive to students as they once were; hence, neither institution could be expected to remain viable for long without some form of direct and continuous contact with the other.

Similarly a return to more intense monasticism seems equally unrealistic. Some have reasoned that the religious are working to support the lay faculty and the way to gain viability would be to cut back enrollments to levels which the religious faculty alone could handle. Given the present decline in the number of people interested in Orders and the values students expect from a heterogeneous faculty, this scarcely appears plausible. Such a decision would probably result in a downward spiral of enrollments for each institution and a similar downward movement of the variety and vitality of the curriculum.

IV. Merger. The last option is that of some form of either partial or complete merger with each institution surrendering authority to some agency so that effective coordination of building plans, student and faculty recruitment and the curriculum could be maintained. Given the conditions, described in connection with the various issues, a partial merger does not appear sound. One can question whether Saint John’s, for example, would defer a capital development program because some delegated coordinating agency wished it to do so. The history of coordination within state systems of public education is full of examples of individual institutions taking action forbidden by coordinating agencies even when these agencies had legal power. Similarly, a coordinating agency would probably not be able to persuade the two sponsoring Orders to agree on some significant issue of educational policy in view of the present organic or symbiotic relationship between the Orders and the colleges.

During the early stages of this study, it appeared possible that some form of formal coordinative structure might suffice either as a final solution or as a step in a gradual process of eventual merger. However, this belief was rejected in view of the fundamental decisions which seem necessary which would transcend the power of any save a corporate structure. Planning long-range faculty needs, development campaigns, building programs, and relationship with the communities and the public institution at St. Cloud are simply illustrative. Thus, complete merger seems logical.

Such a merger would include a number of elements.

1. Trustees to which the assets and powers of both the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University would be conveyed. The new institution could be called a variety of names but it should reflect the interests and traditions of the two existing colleges.  Such a name as The Associated or Federated Colleges of Saint John’s and Saint Benedict is one possibility. An obvious choice would be some variant of the Benedictine University but this would encounter the fact that there are several other Benedictine institutions in Minnesota which would raise the question of the appropriateness of the name. Some at Saint John’s would be happy to have the new entity called Saint John’s University and there is some logic to that. However, this would imply that Saint Benedict was to be absorbed. It is doubtful that either the Order or the college would agree to such a step.

2. The new Board of Trustees would be composed of perhaps a third of  its members from each of the two Orders and a third selected by some appropriate means from the laity (Catholic and non-Catholic).

3. Each of the existing campuses would retain its present name and probably would retain a mixed lay and religious board of visitors with an advisory mission but not with any corporate power.

4. The administrative structure might resemble the chart shown below which would attempt to centralize some functions while still allowing each campus to retain its own character.

5.Generally the various offices of administration would be centralized with, however, some exceptions:

Academic Affairs: A vice president responsible for institution-wide curricula coordination of departments, library services, registrar, instructional services and advising the president on academic matters and advising the deans of the two campuses on academic matters.

Student Affairs: A dean responsible for advising the president and the two deans on student affairs and for administration of testing and, counseling health services institution-wide student affairs and activities, student, union cultural events, student, student newspaper and other similar activities.

Campus Deans: Each campus would be administered by a dean or similar officer who would be responsible for indigenous campus curricular efforts) campus-wide student affairs) religious life and for executing institution wide policies on such things as library use, registration procedures and utilization of educational resources.

Finance: A vice president for finance would be responsible for management of all funds, maintaining the physical plant budget preparation and control, investments and other funds, management of residence halls and food services.

Development: A director or vice president for development would be responsible for all fundraising efforts and for coordinating efforts which either campus might wish to make in its own behalf.

Admissions and Financial Aids: A director for admission would be responsible for the admissions policies and effort for the entire institution.

Religious Life: Each campus would maintain its own Chaplain(s) who would be administratively responsibly to the campus dean.

Physical Plant Plannings: Would be the responsibility of the president with whatever assistance that office required.

Position Papers Continued…