The outlook for the future of Notre Dame de Namur University, which has a satellite program in Tracy, darkened this week with the increased likelihood it may be closed by June 2021.
The Belmont-based Catholic university, buffeted by financial problems and declining enrollment, issued a press release Monday promising only to provide current students with sufficient credits for a path to a degree in June 2021, but making no promises after that.
In addition, no new students will be enrolled for 2020 summer or fall classes.
Students unable to qualify for a degree by June 2021 will be assisted in transferring to another university.
The university stated: “The Board has not yet made a final decision about the future of the university. NDNU intends to remain in operation through the spring 2021 semester, and the university continues to be fully accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.”
The statement added that the university’s board of trustees “will continue to look for realistic sources of funds, funded proposals, and partnerships that would allow NDNU to attain a viable structure in a highly turbulent and unpredictable world, especially for smaller tuition-dependent California private universities,” concluding: “The university will continue to work tirelessly toward a permanent resolution to this situation and to communicate with the entire NDNU community.”
Notre Dame de Namur University has been offering programs in business and education in Tracy since 2015. About 40 students are now enrolled in classes given at the NDNU center in the Opera House building at Ninth Street and Central Avenue.
Roger Birdsall, president of the Tracy Consortium for Higher Education, which worked at attracting Notre Dame de Namur classes to Tracy, said he received the press release but had heard nothing further from the university.
“We’ll just have to wait and see,” he said. “But right now it sure doesn’t look good.”