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March 28, 2015 / 8 Nisan, 5775
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President Joel Bewailing YU ‘Substantial Deficits’

By: JTA

Yeshiva University President Richard Joel acknowledged the school was facing “substantial deficits.”

In an email to faculty and staff obtained by JTA, Joel disclosed that the measures taken to shore up finances at the New York City university following the financial crisis in 2008 have been insufficient.

“We intended to achieve a balanced budget by this year so that we could then begin to reverse the trend of cutbacks,” Joel wrote in the email sent Tuesday night. “Despite our best efforts, we have not yet succeeded. Simply put, the spending required to support what we have built outpaces the income we generate and the substantial deficits that we have incurred cannot be sustained.”

The university’s director of communications declined to comment further.

Now entering his second decade at the helm of Yeshiva University, the so-called flagship institution of Modern Orthodoxy, Joel enjoyed a fundraising windfall in his early years. The school recorded a record-breaking fundraising year in 2007. In 2006, businessman Ronald Stanton gave the university $100 million, the largest gift in its history.

But the recent years have been difficult. The university lost substantially from its heavy investments with Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff. More recently, Moody’s downgraded the school’s credit rating. And the school is facing a $380 million sex abuse lawsuit.

Joel did not specify the size of the deficits facing the university, nor did he outline the precise steps being contemplated to address them. He wrote that the school would “reframe the way we educate” and formulate a “new strategic vision” to increase revenue and efficiency, including new graduate programs.

“Our immediate next steps, though, are clear,” the email said. “We must spend in accordance with our financial resources. We are looking at all aspects of our operations to increase revenue, improve operational efficiencies, and manage costs. We will require more support and more philanthropy. We must distribute financial aid more deliberately.”

In 2011, Joel was the highest-paid Jewish communal professional in the United States, earning a salary of $879,821, according to the Forward.

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4 Responses to “President Joel Bewailing YU ‘Substantial Deficits’”

  1. Sent: Wed, Nov 20, 2013 8:56 pm
    Subject: RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG REG. PRES. JOEL PAUL AND YESHIVA UNIVERSITY

    Driving to teach Public Speaking at Yeshiva College this past wednesday I received a call stating that the speech department is closing at YU. I was the first speech major at Yeshiva College in 1969 and together with Dr. Abraham Tauber of Blessed memory created the first speech department at Yeshiva College. I have taught at Yeshiva College in the 70's, 80's and in the last 4 years. What is not working at Yeshiva College? Why is enrollment down? Why are students unhappy and leaving? According to my observations, shiurim are too large and Rebbes are unable to develop close relationships with students. How much do the administrators and officers make? You would be astonished. Why fire talented adjuncts while keeping full teachers who are not evaluated and cannot teach? Consider the YU nepotism which gives untalented people jobs. There seem to be a lot of people running around doing nothing and getting paid. The cafeteria food is terrible and costs too much. Students are overworked with religious requirements which make it impossible to devote enough time to secular work. This has to be reevaluated. Finally, where is the YU spirit of Torah Umada? Where is our pride?
    We are not Harvard, Yale, or Columbia. Let us be YU. A college without art, music, speech, drama, is not even an advanced high school.
    Rabbi DR. Bernhard Rosenberg

    I TEACH SPEECH AND THEY DESTORYED THE ENTIRE DEPT. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard ROSENBERG. Richard Joel should take a major cut in pay and stop hiring expensive big name teachers

    Check out this video on YouTube:

    Driving to teach Public Speaking at Yeshiva College this past wednesday I received a call stating that the speech department is closing at YU. I was the first speech major at Yeshiva College in 1969 and together with Dr. Abraham Tauber of Blessed memory created the first speech department at Yeshiva College. I have taught at Yeshiva College in the 70's, 80's and in the last 4 years. What is not working at Yeshiva College? Why is enrollment down? Why are students unhappy and leaving? According to my observations, shiurim are too large and Rebbes are unable to develop close relationships with students. How much do the administrators and officers make? You would be astonished. Why fire talented adjuncts while keeping full teachers who are not evaluated and cannot teach? Consider the YU nepotism which gives untalented people jobs. There seem to be a lot of people running around doing nothing and getting paid. The cafeteria food is terrible and costs too much. Students are overworked with religious requirements which make it impossible to devote enough time to secular work. This has to be reevaluated. Finally, where is the YU spirit of Torah Umada? Where is our pride?
    We are not Harvard, Yale, or Columbia. Let us be YU. A college without art, music, speech, drama, is not even an advanced high school.
    Rabbi DR. Bernhard Rosenberg 5 FAIRHILL RD. EDISON NJ. 732 572 2766

    Richard Joel Admits Yeshiva University Facing 'Substantial Deficits'

  2. "earning a salary of $879,821" To put this in perspective, that is more than twice the salary of the US president. It might also be of interest to know what are the perks to President Joel that are paid for from the YU budget which is facing 'substantial' deficits.

  3. Subject: Public Speaking being demolished at Yeshiva University rabbi dr. bernhard rosenberg send to friends, former students and your parents.

    Check out this video on YouTube:

  4. Debbie Fox says:

    I don't think it is fair to define Richard Joel as a Jewish Communal Professional. There are major city Federation CEO's earning over 700,00.00. His earning should be compared to university presdents, many who earn far more than Mr. Joel. In any event, he is generously paid, but running a massive enterprise with thousands of students, hundreds of millions of dollars in endowments, etc. His salary in my opinion in completely reasonable.

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