Preliminary Principles to Guide the Reinvention of Hampshire College
Before the end of October 2019, we must produce and approve a clear roadmap defining how the next Hampshire College student experience will be achieved. This roadmap must be accompanied by a financial model that demonstrates a path to sustainability. The framework we adopt must also account for the reduced enrollment and revenue that will characterize the next 3-4 years.
The generation of this vision should be guided by the following principles; this list is not exclusive:
- Mission. The new Hampshire College student experience must be consistent with the essential mission and vision that has guided us for the past 50 years. The form may depart significantly from current and past practice, but the aspirations must express the core identity: Hampshire as an innovator in higher education, providing inquiry-based, learner-centered education, empowering students to think, discover, innovate, and advocate.
- Unique. The new iteration of the Hampshire College student experience must be different in character and kind from anything else going on in higher education. That does not mean reinventing everything, but it does mean doing things in a way that no other college can or will do as well.
- Inspiring. The vision for a rebuilt Hampshire must inspire current and future students to value us over other, less impactful college and non-college options. It must appeal to students who believe they can and should make a difference in the world, and it should show them how Hampshire will help them do that. And it must motivate members of the Hampshire College community to support the college financially.
- Accessible. A Hampshire education, in any form, will appeal to a particular subset of students, and among those to whom it is attractive, a smaller group are likely to thrive if admitted. The new Hampshire model should focus on recruiting those students, regardless of background. This means the financial model should not be built on the assumption of substantial growth in net revenue per student.
- Fairness. The labor required to support the student experience must be compensated reasonably and employees should not be expected to contribute excessive levels of effort and time. We must take care to match aspirations to labor expectations.
- Sustainable. The new model must fit within a realistic assessment of future revenue, drawn from (1) net tuition, room, and board, (2) the Hampshire Fund, and (3) regular auxiliary revenue.