RENSSELAER — Two major figures instrumental in working to bring St. Joseph’s College back into operation announced their departures this week.
Bill Hogan, the college’s vice president of advancement, resigned Wednesday, while Michael Kohlman, the school’s chief intelligence officer, will step down Nov. 1.
Both were part of the Phoenix Team, the name of the original group assigned to find a way for St. Joseph’s College to reopen some day.
The century-old Catholic liberal arts college closed after the 2017 spring semester partly because of $35 million in deferred maintenance to buildings and $27 million in debt that was deemed “unmanageable” given declining enrollment, which stood at around 1,100.
Almost one year ago, SJC and Marian University struck a deal to restructure tens of millions of dollars in debt and combine its two campuses, which would be called “St. Joseph’s College of Marian University Indianapolis.”
The deal will essentially keep the campus in Rensselaer.
Hogan’s unexpected resignation was issued through an online post credited to the Rev. Larry Hemmelgarn, chairman of the SJC Board of Trustees.
Hemmelgarn did not immediately give a reason for why Hogan resigned.
“Bill was instrumental in raising several hundreds of thousand dollars as a part of the Phoenix Project in his first year at SJC and over $2.3 million, including intentions and pledges to give, during the 128 Core Partners Campaign over the last nine months, providing St. Joseph’s College the promise of resources needed to carry on the work of SJC,” Hemmelgarn stated. “The SJC Board of Trustees thanks Bill for his tireless efforts on behalf of all Pumas and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Hemmelgarn added that Hogan “has graciously agreed to work with the college to ensure a smooth transition of the advancement function.”
“(The alumni) shall be kept informed as the college transitions to the next level of advancement leadership,” he said.
When asked to comment on the situation, Hogan only said, “I really enjoyed being back in Rensselaer and hope to return some day.”
Kohlman’s resignation was disclosed Thursday in a post on his personal Facebook page.
“With so many personnel changes in the last few weeks (culminating in Bill Hogan’s announcement yesterday), I have been touched by how many of you have been concerned about my well-being,” he wrote. “After a lot of careful thought and discussion with the caretakers of SJC, we mutually agreed that it was time for me to wrap up my tenure as the Puma CIO.”
He went on to detail the work he has left to do before leaving.
“I expect to complete technology renovations on the entire west wing of the CORE Education Center, making all the classrooms from Courtney Hall through 115 fully functional again (and with some neat, new capabilities for any potential future instructors),” he wrote. “Getting CORE to that point over the last nine months has definitely been a challenge but it leaves SJC with at least the foundations of the instructional technology they need to ‘go live’ when that moment comes.”
Kohlman also expressed gratitude to the team members who worked alongside him at the college prior to its suspension of operations in 2017.
“I was proud to have all of you as a part my team, and to this day I regret that time was all too short,” he wrote. “Each one of you had the makings of winners and I will always believe that we were heading in that direction before fate stepped in.”
Kohlman referred all questions to the leadership of the St. Joseph’s College Board of Trustees.