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Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin College, met with the Christian Reformed Church’s CRC’s Board of Trustees for the first time since he was interviewed for his position in February 2012. Calvin College is owned by the Christian Reformed Church.

Within months of that interview, just weeks after starting work on the campus, Le Roy discovered that the college was in dire financial straits. That situation is beginning to turn around, said Le Roy, who told trustees he is cautious but hopeful.

After explaining some of what led the college to arrive at a point where it had $116 million in debt, he noted that the new financial approach at the college is to use conservative assumptions and to be transparent about future budget realities and assumptions.

In the meantime, budget cuts across the board, increased enrollment, and positive response from donors mean the gap between what the college has and what it needs to service its debt has narrowed from $11.5 million to $7.7 million. Le Roy said that gap will continue to close each year until the debt comes due in a few years.

Le Roy told trustees he is optimistic. “Hard times are a great teacher in lessons on relying on God,” he said. “It has carried me through this time.”

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