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MA Higher Ed Commissioner to Address Impact of College Closures in Amherst

MA Higher Ed Commissioner to Address Impact of College Closures in Amherst

“The ripple effect is significant”

The troubles at Hampshire College are clearly making people nervous. The economy in this part of the state is tied to all of the colleges.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports:

Massachusetts education chief to talk college closures in Amherst

The state’s commissioner of higher education is set to visit Amherst for a forum to discuss college closures, their impact and how to prevent them.

The offices of state Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and Mindy Domb, D-Amherst, have organized the forum with Department of Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago. Comerford’s office billed the event as a “regional conversation on the topic of preventing and addressing the impact of college closures.” It will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, July 26, at Amherst Town Hall.

“We’re extremely excited that he’s coming,” Domb said Thursday.

Amherst is no stranger to the conversation around college financial struggles.

Hampshire College announced earlier this year that it was facing deep financial struggles, leading to arguments about the future of the college. The school’s board of trustees voted in February to accept only a tiny class this fall, leading to widespread layoffs and faculty reductions, which in turn had tertiary effects on the town and the local economy.

“The ripple effect is significant,” Domb said.

Comerford and Domb have both pushed for a trip to Amherst to be included in Santiago’s plans this summer.

“I’m a little disappointed with the time,” Domb said, referring to the fact that so many members of the Five College community are out of town or busy for the summer.


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Morning Sunshine | July 8, 2019 at 10:08 pm

off topic (kind of). I just got an email from my alma mater

“On the afternoon of Friday, June 28, 2019, Wells College received notification from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that it has placed Wells College on probation. The Commission has given Wells two years to demonstrate our full compliance with all requirements for the renewal of our accreditation. Its action is, in fact, the beginning of a process designed to facilitate the College’s continuation of the full accreditation it has enjoyed for so long.”

it continues, like this is a positive thing. I have honestly been dreading this day. This is what they were trying to avoid when they went co-ed 12 years ago, and we all knew it. But here we are

    artichoke in reply to Morning Sunshine. | July 9, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    The accreditors are becoming tougher on financial stability, just as small colleges are becoming financially weaker. But it’s intentional that way. Part of the reason is to close down colleges before students get a nasty surprise and after 2 or 3 years at a college, it closes leaving them high and dry. The intent is apparently to close colleges before that stage.