Issues for Concern

In 2011, St. Andrews merged with Webber International University as part of a January 21 memorandum of understanding. The plan called for St. Andrews to become a branch of Webber, with St. Andrews’ academic and administrative officers reporting to Webber President Keith Wade (a St. Andrews alum). In was noted that both schools would continue to maintain their campuses and names. 

 

In a media announcement, Wade acknowledged that St. Andrews financial difficulties could be remedied and this new arrangement would strengthen student recruiting and retention at both schools. Said Wade regarding St. Andrews – “They need to restructure their debt. But they only need 10 to 15 percent more students to break even. That’s not a whole lot.”

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2011

Restructuring of finances

April 2011

  • Webber/St. Andrews plan is submitted to Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and US Dept. of Education. 

September 2011

  • St. Andrews files Supplemental Trust Indenture of First Mortgage Bonds noting default of $12M loan (Source: Scotland County Register of Deeds, 9/14/2011).
     

  • St. Andrews receives $1.5M from Equestrian Center donor to pay off the remainder of  a 2009 government debt; and is granted first and second liens of Equestrian Center as collateral. Is is also given loan of $3.7M;  to be paid in full on Sept. 1, 2018. (Source: Scotland County Register of Deeds, 9/14/2011).
     

  • St. Andrews enters into a sale-leaseback arrangement whereby it sold its St. Andrews campus, consisting of certain campus land, buildings, and improvements, including the equestrian center, to Scotland County Development Corporation, a North Carolina nonprofit corporation. 

    During the term of the lease, the University is required to pay all executor costs such as taxes, maintenance, and insurance. (Source: Webber Consolidated Audits).

    Monthly rental payments for the St. Andrews campus are $60,000.

2017

Financial troubles mounting

Webber University transfers $4.2M to St. Andrews (St. Andrews IRS Form 990, 2017).
 

June 2017

October 2017

November 2017 

* St. Andrews has paid $714,000 in 2017 rent expenses and $638,910 in 2016 to Scotland County Development Corporation as of May 31st of each year. (Source: Webber Consolidated Audit, Years Ended 2017 and 2016).

2018

Arthur Keiser is working behind-the-scenes

In his June 23, 2021 letter to Rep. Kathy Manning, Art Keiser states, “From 2018-2020, the Board of Trustees of Everglades College, Inc. donated approximately $11 million to WIU to help the university recover from near bankruptcy and failure of the Department of Education Composite Score Ratio.”

 

This is further supported with the fact that Everglades College (i.e. Keiser) donated $2.2M to St. Andrews and $2M to Webber. (Source: Everglades College, 2018 IRS Form 990). 
 

May 2018
 

  • St. Andrews amends its lease agreement with Scotland Development Corporation to become current on outstanding lease payments of $1.2M. 

    In addition to the scheduled monthly rent payments of $60,000, the current outstanding liability shall be repaid at a rate of $5,000 per month beginning June 1 until paid in full; with one-half of the remaining balance paid on or before Oct. 1, 2021; and the remaining balance paid on or before Oct. 1, 2022.      
     

June 2018 
 

  • St. Andrews satisfies $642,000 promissory note to Webber.
     

  • University enters into a $2M, 10-year consulting agreement with Everglades College (i.e. Keiser) for both campuses. Under terms of the agreement, the organization will provide comprehensive administrative consulting services to the University.

    Monthly consulting payments are $16,667 in addition to the reimbursement business expenses incurred by the consultant. The monthly consulting payments will be reviewed annually and adjusted to the determined fair market value of consulting services. 

    Ellen Bernhardt is tapped as consultant to St. Andrews.

St. Andrews has paid $714,000 in 2017 rent expenses as of May 31st. (Source: Webber Consolidated Audit, Years 2018 and 2017).

It is also believed that, $3.7M Equestrian Center loan was due Sept. 1, 2018. (Source: Scotland County Register of Deeds, 9/14/2011).

2019

Keiser's influence is growing
with money and personnel

Everglades College (i.e. Keiser) donates $4.3M to Webber. (Source: Everglades College, 2019 IRS Form 990). 

July 2019 

  • St. Andrews announces two new degrees – Bachelor Arts in Health Services Administration and Bachelor of Science in Sports Performance, Health and Fitness degree (Source: St. Andrews News Release, 7/8/2019).
     

November 2019 

  • Consultant Dr. Ellen Bernhardt appointed Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Office. Assumed total leadership responsibility for the campus (Source: St. Andrews News Release, 6/11/2020).
     

December 2019 

  • Paul Baldasare ’77 publicly announces retirement as St. Andrews President. (Source: St. Andrews News Release, 12/13/2019).

St. Andrews has paid $854,000 in rent expense to Scotland County Development Corporation as of May 31, 2019. (Source: Webber Consolidated Audit, Years 2019 and 2018).

2020

Dramatic changes 

May 2020 

  • Paul Baldasare ’77 departs as campus president.
     

June 2020

  • Consultant Ellen Bernhardt appointed Interim Campus President effective immediately (Source: St. Andrews News Release, 6/11/2020).
     

July 2020 

  • St. Andrews announces new Bachelor of Science Nursing Program (Source By the Lake Newsletter, 7/28/20); and new Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assisting.
     

September 2020

  • Opening of Charlotte campus – 207 Regency Executive Drive, same address as for-profit Southeastern Institute  -- for-profit college owned by Art Keiser (Source St. Andrews News Release, 9/14/2020 and By the Lake Newsletter, 9/15/2020).

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  • St. Andrews administration shares with faculty and students details of articulation agreement with Keiser University. St. Andrews students can take a four-week online course and earn three credit hours through Keiser University. Students only have to pay for their books, but not tuition as St. Andrews covers the payment. Freshman and sophomore students who need a course out of sequence or have withdrawn or failed a course are encouraged to enroll in the four-week classes as a way to improved their GPA. 
     

October 2020 

  • Announces 42% increase of new students – 852 in total from 36 states and 25 countries. (Source By the Lake Newsletter, 10/13/2020).
     

November 2020 

  • Admissions head shares that 1,000 applications have been received for Fall 2021 and 700 students accepted. Upon questioning by alumni admits there are no minimum requirements of GPA or SAT/ACT scores. Also, shares recruiting focus is on non-traditional students and adult learners. (Alumni Town Hall, 11/19/2020).
     

  • Upon pressure by alumni questioning, Bernhardt admits for first time publicly her connection to Keiser University – former employer and where she received her doctorate. (Alumni Town Hall, 11/19/2020).

    Also, during the Alumni Town Hall, when asked about the sudden influx of cash for campus projects, Bernhardt responded that previous CFO has been overpaying and staff are now “tightening belts” and thus “found” money; that Charlotte campus only has three faculty; that Sodexho loaned the school money for Belk renovations; and that the school is planning a lacrosse summer camp that will bring in $1 million. 

    Benhardt also stated several times that ongoing efforts are meant to build St. Andrews back up so that it “can be financially independent.” 

     

  • Announces new Master of Arts in Education – accelerated program to be completed in one year (By the Lake Newsletter, 11/24/2020).

St. Andrews has paid $766,275 in rent expense to Scotland County Development Corporation as of May 31, 2020. (Source: Webber Consolidated Audit, Years 2020 and 2019).

2021

Tensions escalate 

January 2021 

  • FEMA announces $8.37M in total reimbursement for Hurricane Florence-related expenses. (NCDPS news release, 1/15/2021).
     

February 2021 

  • Republic Report’s article – Is Arthur Keiser in Charge at St. Andrews University -- is shared on St. Andrews Alumni Facebook Group – causing much alarm and outrage. (Source Facebook Group, 2/19/2021).
     

  • Laurinburg native Fredrick McCoy is appointed to Board of Trustees (Source St. Andrews News Release, 2/19/2021).
     

  • At Alumni Council meeting, Bernhardt for the first time publicly admits her salary is being paid by Everglades College.
     

March 2021 

  • Opening of Charleston (2431 Aviation Ave., Suite 703) and Columbia (1628 Browning Road), SC campuses. These locations share same address as Southeastern Institute – for-profit college owned by Art Keiser. 
     

  • Total enrollment has grown three consecutive academic years – 666 to 725 to 885, and expected to exceed 1,000 in Fall 2021 (Source By the Lake Newsletter, 3/15/2021).
     

  • New Master’s degree in Instructional Design and Curricular Supervision (Source Fast Facts, 3/30/21).
     

 

  • “ . . . over the past 24 months, some $750,000 in renovations have taken place on campus, with an additional $5 to $7.5M currently underway or beginning in next three years. These expenditures are above and beyond the annual operating budget.” (Source Fast Facts, 3/30/21).

 


April 2021
 

June 2021

August 2021 

  • St. Andrews Friends NC website is launched.

 

September 2021
 

  • St. Andrews Friends NC offers to host a virtual meeting for concerned alumni. The offer included a third-party moderator to facilitate discussion between alumni and Dr. Keith Wade, President and CEO of Webber International University. Wade declines and proposes a face-to-face meeting instead. 
     

October 2021

  • Bill Rinker, SAPC Class of 1969, is elected to SAU/Webber University Board of Trustees. 
     

  • Dr. Keith Wade hosts meeting with alumni on Laurinburg campus. To attend, alumni must be a confirmed graduate and must have paper ticket and photo ID. Only ticketholders, moderator, court reporter, technical support personnel, and security are allowed in the room. No audio or video recordings are allowed. Robert Brewbaker, SAPC Class of 1969, is tapped to serve as moderator.
     

  • St. Andrews welcomes new campus president for its satellite campus in Columbia, SC. Dr. Qunna Morrow replaces Stephanie Dauway, who served in role for 13 months. 
     

  • Northeastern Technical College, a public community college in Cheraw, SC, signs articulation agreement with St. Andrews University. 

November 2021

  • Dr. Keith Wade announces that Oct. 16 alumni meeting transcript is available to view. Confirmed graduates must request the transcript via email and are given a Non-Disclosure Agreement that must be signed prior to viewing. The transcript can not be shared with others, nor printed or copied/pasted. 

  • St. Andrews hosts Homecoming Weekend; introduces new college mascot and school fight song.