Hampshire College Interim President outlines plan to rebuild the school

Hampshire County

Hampshire College’s interim president announced goals to help rebuild the college for the future. 

Ken Rosenthal has been a part of Hampshire College for five decades. 

On Friday, Hampshire College Trustees voted to keep the college independent and to fundraise for that purpose. They are developing a new plan for a new model for the school.

Their goal is to raise $15-20 million over the next year and $100 million over the next five or six years. 

The college is fighting to stay independent and like many other smaller colleges, Hampshire is facing financial difficulties. “And so Hampshire is trying to be in a position where we have a large enough endowment so that if our student enrollment declines a bit year-to-year that we could adjust to those declines,” said John Courtmanche, the college’s spokesman.

Now, the fundraising begins and it’ll involve a major capital campaign.

Rosenthal told students he wants them to stick with the school. He said the school will be a small college for the next year or two, with around 600 students next year. 

He said he hopes all students admitted for fall 2019 will enroll, but it will be a small class. The college is exploring a way to admit new students in spring 2020 and then even more students in fall 2020. 

As far as staffing, Rosenthal said the school will be losing some colleagues because it is a financial necessity. He said they will have fewer faculty and staff next year. Rosenthal added that he’s only accepting a dollar a year as his salary.

Some faculty and staff will receive word of layoffs at the end of April. They will receive 60 days notice, so they will work until June, and will be eligible to receive severance. 

Faculty and staff are different because faculty members have individual contracts. Faculty will receive updates directly from the Dean of Faculty’s Office. 

The Human Resources Office is providing resources for employees to transition through job searches, job placement, career counseling and more. 

Hampshire hopes to enroll students again in spring of 2020 which marks the college’s 50th anniversary.

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