In early October, AJU announced our decision to pause undergraduate admissions and sunset the current undergraduate curriculum. Simultaneously, we have established a working group to explore and design exciting new undergraduate academic initiatives based on best practices that will take advantage of the dynamism of our Los Angeles location, and the university’s ethical and moral foundations. 

No other divisions within the university, including other academic programs such as the Ziegler School for Rabbinic Studies, Graduate Center for Jewish Education, or Graduate School of Nonprofit Management, are affected by this change. 

For your convenience, we have provided answers to some common questions. Please email undergradataju.edu with any additional questions. 

General Questions

  • Is American Jewish University closing?

    No.  The university, which is healthy financially, continues to provide a myriad of other programming for the Greater Los Angeles Jewish community and people of all ages and backgrounds through its two campuses in Bel-Air and Simi Valley.

  • What is changing in the undergraduate division?

    AJU is pausing undergraduate admissions and sunsetting the current undergraduate curriculum.  AJU will use this opportunity to explore new, exciting academic initiatives based on best practices that will take advantage of the dynamism of our Los Angeles location, and the university’s ethical and moral foundations.

  • Will new programming for undergraduate students be developed at a later date?

    The university president is in the process of appointing a working group to help develop exciting, thoughtful programming that takes advantage of the latest thinking in educational practice, technology, and student affairs. This group will include members of the faculty, staff, and alumni as well as wider community members with expertise in educational programming, innovation and strong understanding of Jewish culture and heritage.

  • What are the programs that fall within the current undergraduate program?

    The current undergraduate program is part of the College of Arts and Sciences and includes nine primary areas of baccalaureate study.

  • Will other AJU programs be impacted by this change?

    No.  No other divisions within the university, including other academic programs such as the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, Graduate Center for Jewish Education, or Graduate School of Nonprofit Management, will be impacted by this change.

  • Does this decision impact the university’s accreditation?

    The university was re-accredited for seven years in 2016 for all of its academic programming. AJU has informed the accrediting agency of the plans for the undergraduate program and there will be no impact on university accreditation.

  • Will enrolled undergraduates still be able to graduate?

    Yes.  AJU will honor our commitment to current students and offer courses throughout the remainder of their undergraduate education.

  • Are you canceling any classes in this current academic semester?

    No. All classes will continue as scheduled.  Future offerings will be tailored to the needs of the study body and all current students in good standing will have an opportunity to complete the requirements for their degree.

  • Are you closing the Familian campus where undergraduate programs are run?

    No. AJU has numerous offerings and resources on campus that serve thousands of people in the community and those programs will not be impacted by this decision.

  • How many faculty are in the undergraduate program and how will they be impacted by the change?

    There are 12 full time faculty currently teaching in the undergraduate program and we do not expect any near-term changes since we will be continuing undergraduate academic programming for enrolled students.

  • Will there be staff layoffs?

    Since we will not be recruiting new students for the near term, two occupied positions and one vacant position within the undergraduate admissions department were eliminated.  We will work with the impacted individuals to provide support and explore other opportunities. No other layoffs are planned for this academic year.

  • Was this decision vetted with any groups before it was made?

    Yes.  There have been concerns for many years about the very small size of the program and numerous efforts have been attempted to reverse the enrollment trends. The president has reviewed these past efforts and the performance indicators associated with the undergraduate program. Based on the findings and continued negative financial impact, he made the recommendation to sunset the current program to the Board of Directors in early October.

  • Is the program losing money for the university?

    Yes, running an undergraduate program with a residential component does require having a large enough enrollment to align with the required expenses. For many years, the undergraduate program has not met expenses and we have had to make up the shortfall through other revenue sources. 

  • How much have enrollments changed over the years?

    The program has always been very small and peak enrollment has been only 142 students.  As of fall 2018, the program enrolls 68 undergraduate students.

  • Who is on the working group that is looking at future programming?

    The president, in discussion with his leadership team, is in the process of making the appointments. The group will include members of the faculty, staff, and alumni as well as wider community members with expertise in educational programming, innovation and strong understanding of Jewish culture and heritage.

     

  • When will the task force complete its work exploring future programming?

    It is too early to put a deadline on completion, but we expect work to begin immediately and in earnest.

Current Student Questions