Most students have heard about it. Some even received chocolate bars during finals with the logo on it. But people are still left with the question: What is Fairfield 2020?

Fairfield 2020, marketed with the tagline “building towards a more sustainable future,” was introduced to staff and students on Jan. 29.

In front of a packed Barone Campus Center Oak Room, President Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J. presented the idea of recreating, renewing and reimagining Fairfield. The University’s long-term goal is to operate more efficiently and cut down costs.

Von Arx described a vision that he imagined 10 years ago that focuses on integrity. He stressed “integration of core curriculum, living and learning and the integration of Jesuit values in our professional and graduate education.”

Fairfield 2020 will be a campus-wide project involving students, faculty, administrators and trustees alike.  Task forces will be assembled to review more efficient ways to operate, as well as searching for new programs and courses to help meet market demand.

Von Arx also addressed the finances of the University and explained that Fairfield will experience an unbalanced budget if the current model is not broadened due to a lower number of Connecticut high school students applying to college.

The high cost of Fairfield tuition was stressed as a major concern.  According to von Arx, Fairfield increased the amount of financial aid to “support families who cannot shoulder the burden of the cost.”

Students are equally concerned.

Freshman and commuter Keniel Brown said aside from financial aid, he is also concerned with the amount of “waste” in the University’s budget.

“I’d rather see money spent on the students than on statues,” said Sheila Bonitatibus ‘17.

Von Arx agreed that reforms need to be made. “If we don’t change our financial model, we will be compelled to accept students based on their ability to pay,” von Arx said. “I don’t think this is the kind of institution that we want to become.”

While the financial aspects were clearly stated, there were also many more goals that von Arx brought up. One goal is to develop and support online learning.

Part of Fairfield 2020 also includes revising the core curriculum, as well as increasing the amount of technology used in classes.

Despite the hype, Fairfield students did not seem to know what this new plan includes.

“While I understand that Fairfield 2020 is important for the future of our campus, many people still do not know what this project entails,”  said Hayley Moyer ‘14. “For me, and I am sure the rest of the senior class, we are looking towards our own individual futures rather than the plans of Fairfield six years after our own graduation.”

Senior Sam Young added, “The way they advertised it made it seem very interesting; however, when I learned what it was about, I became very uninterested because it no longer pertains to my own future.”

Faculty, however, have more information than the student body.

Professor and Chair of the Economics Department Mark S. LeClair said, “I appreciate that the University is publicly addressing the challenges facing higher education, in particular, the difficulty of attracting robust numbers of students in a very challenging financial environment.”

However, LeClair also mentioned some aspects that were not included in the presentation, such as the increase of student debt.

“Something that was not addressed in this session, but needs to be discussed, is the so-called higher education bubble, that is, the estimated trillion dollars in accumulated student debt,” said LeClair.

Von Arx concluded by saying, “I look forward to working in collaboration with you all as we chart a course for the future of our University.”

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