Changes to NJCU Athletics Sport Sponsorship

December 7, 2022
NJCU Athletics Word_NJCU_FulClr_GrnBG

Dear Members of the NJCU Community:

Last month, we wrote to tell you of the reorganization of the senior administrative teams and divisions at the University. It is one of the many painful, yet necessary decisions NJCU continues to make as part of our rightsizing efforts. While all these decisions are difficult, ultimately they are necessary for the long-term sustainability of our institution and its mission.

Today, we write to inform you that as part of its ongoing rightsizing efforts, the university will cease sponsorship of five of its athletic programs — men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s cross country — effective May 30, 2023.

The cuts will decrease the university’s athletic offerings from 22 programs to 17 — seven men’s, nine women’s and one co-ed. Since July 1, the athletic department has instituted cost mitigation efforts resulting in an overall budget reduction of more than 50% from the previous fiscal year.

As you know, NJCU’s enrollment, along with that of many of its peers across the country, is significantly smaller today than it was just five years ago. Universities around the country, particularly at the NCAA Division III level which NJCU competes, have and continue to use athletics as a strategy to grow enrollment and enhance campus life.

Unfortunately, at NJCU, the enrollment expectations of some sports programs — as well as some academic programs — have not materialized as projected for a variety of reasons but namely macro socioeconomic factors such as a declining population of high school students across the country. The hard reality of macro socioeconomic trends indicate another 9% drop in the number of New Jersey students graduating high school between 2018 and 2028 and the enrollment at other university continues to feel the effects of COVID-19, which has disproportionately affected the student population this institution serves. As such, NJCU must continue making difficult but necessary adjustments reflective of the changing landscape. 

The discontinuation of the teams is yet another measure by the university to reach budget neutrality by June 30, 2023. NJCU entered Fiscal Year 2023 with a structural deficit of more than $20 million and with the previously announced measures already implemented and today’s elimination of five athletic teams, more than $10 million in cost containment strategies have been identified. In fiscal year 2023, the Athletic Department budget will represent an even smaller portion of the overall university budget. 

The golf and tennis programs will continue to compete during the Spring 2023 semester before being phased out. Men’s cross country is exclusively a fall sport and their season has already concluded, although many of its student athletes also compete for the men’s track and field programs in the winter and spring.

The athletics department, the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and the university as a whole will continue to support the student-athlete experience for its students in the remaining 17 athletic programs with the resources appropriate for an institution of our size. We will also support and guide those students impacted by today’s announcement — whether they wish to continue their academic careers at NJCU, or transfer to another institution to continue competing in their sport. 

In addition to these announced cuts, NJCU, through its demonstrated firm commitment to right-sizing through continued cost reductions and revenue increases, will continue evaluating all components of its operations, including its academic portfolio.

This has not be an easy time for the University. We are sorry we find ourselves here. While today’s announcement is another incredible hardship that must be endured, these sacrifices are part of a solid and effective plan in place that will be the catalyst to a strong and prosperous future for NJCU.


Jason Kroll
Acting President
New Jersey City University


Dr. Jodi Bailey
Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
New Jersey City University