Actions Following the Board Meeting: February 18, 2019

Dear Hampshire Community,

The Board of Trustees had a very productive meeting yesterday, during which I reviewed several possible strategic approaches for securing the future of Hampshire College. The Board has authorized me to move forward with investigating these options, and I am writing now to brief you.

There are several different approaches we have identified, all of which will be guided by our guiding principles. The approaches we are considering include different kinds of engagement and governance structures with an outside strategic partner. We are also pursuing an approach where Hampshire maintains independence by means of transformative financial support from our community of alums and other long-engaged donors. The Board recognizes that, in all cases, we will have to experience significant restructuring, including layoffs and short-term downsizing of the College.    

I am currently working to convene the newly constituted Options Committee made up of members from campus, each drawn from the Crisis Committee and the Visioning Task Force. I want to acknowledge that the members of this committee are here because of their imagination and critical thinking skills and not because they represent a specific constituency. The members of this new committee are:

  • Chris Cianfrani, faculty
  • Anne Downes, staff trustee
  • Sheila Heady, staff
  • Thom Long, faculty
  • Mary McEneany, finance and administration
  • Daya Mena, student trustee
  • Joanna Morris, faculty
  • Emery Powell, student
  • Eva Rueschmann, academic affairs
  • Ashley Smith, faculty

I am also coordinating efforts with an ad hoc Board committee so we can all get to work on the substantive discussions we need to shape Hampshire’s future. One of the most important constituencies to involve in imagining Hampshire’s future is our community of alums, and we will connect with the Alumni Advisory Group this week on different ways we might do this.

I will continue to update you as I have more information.


Miriam Nelson

Article Tags