Institutions of higher education know all too well that the competitiveness involved in recruiting students now goes well beyond academic quality, cost, and the ability to offer generous financial aid. Many other factors and consumer-based appeals are now in play. As part of Hampshire’s strategic enrollment plan, Hampshire made the decision to step outside the paradigm of competition, and instead to focus on recruiting and meeting the intellectual and social needs of students who will thrive in our academic milieu of educating for change. Our strategy is to differentiate Hampshire on the basis of our immensely talented and creative faculty, our radical pedagogical model, the motivated students who come here with a vision of transforming themselves and the world, and our remarkable alumni, whose global contributions belie the College’s youth. That is the crux of Hampshire’s path toward financial sustainability.
The work toward financial sustainability will be involved, require new thinking and address lingering issues of declining enrollment, rising discount rates and resistance to change. The following slides summarize the issues, indicate avenues of investigation now underway and open the dialogue for change.
As the Board, the Faculty, Staff and Administrators map the path forward toward financial sustainability for the College, difficult and uncomfortable questions must be asked and answered. Since this is an existential moment, our approach has moved beyond traditional “five-year” financial planning and into an examination of the business plan of the College.