Education Fashion Gayle Hill Hampshire College Miriam Nelson The Download

CommonWealth Magazine

DeLeo spins a positive tale

It was nonetheless very a lot the thick of Eisenhower-era conformity, in 1958, when the presidents of Amherst School, Smith School, Mount Holyoke School, and the College of Massachusetts Amherst put collectively a doc referred to as The New School Plan. It envisioned a fifth school within the Pioneer Valley that may break from the traditional norms of upper schooling with a give attention to self-directed studying and larger interdisciplinary research.

Twelve years later, the imaginative and prescient matured into actuality with the opening of Hampshire School on an 800-acre parcel of former apple orchards and farmland in South Amherst. Now, almost 50 years after its opening, the as soon as new school is on the ropes. Hampshire introduced Tuesday that it’s in search of a “strategic partnership” with one other larger schooling establishment. Whereas pursuing a merger, Hampshire stated it is going to determine within the coming weeks whether or not to confess a brand new class of scholars for the approaching fall.

The varsity has an enrollment of about 1,400 college students. Tuition is $50,000 per yr, and room and board provides one other $14,000 to the tab, although many college students get a large low cost off that listing worth.

The school’s progressive strategy to studying could also be as related as ever, perhaps much more so in right now’s fast-paced period of innovation and disruption of conventions. However small, personal liberal-arts schools, particularly these with out massive endowments that should rely closely on tuition funds to function, are a mannequin that appears more and more unsustainable and topic to those self same disruptive forces.

The varsity’s’ finances is balanced, and it has a $52 million endowment. However the Hampshire board of trustees chairwoman, Gaye Hill, informed the Washington Submit the school needed to get out forward of issues earlier than they attain a disaster stage. “We’re in a position of strength,” she stated. “We can see our way forward for a couple years, but we can’t see our way forward much further than that.”

The state’s greater ed panorama has been rocked in recent times by closures and mergers involving smaller faculties. Hampshire President Miriam Nelson stated the Wheelock School merger with Boston College is a “good example” of how a partnership might work.

Whether or not Hampshire might retain its distinct strategy if it joined with a extra financially secure establishment would loom as an enormous query.

Hampshire boasts a set of notable alums, together with filmmaker Ken Burns, actors Lupita Nyong’o and Liev Schreiber, and Stonyfield Farm yogurt founder Gary Hirschberg. (Filling out the roster of graduates are, in fact, hundreds of on a regular basis plebes, reminiscent of Amherst city supervisor Paul Bockelman, who provided hope that the school would see its method via and survive, in addition to at present’s considerably misty-eyed Obtain correspondent.)

Faculty officers insist Hampshire just isn’t closing, as they sit up for its 50th anniversary subsequent yr. Perhaps the choice to get out forward of issues will repay with a plan that sees the school survive, adapting creatively to new realities in a method that may make its pedagogical pioneers proud.

Or perhaps issues don’t work out, a risk one graduate contemplated with a level of philosophical equanimity. “Maybe it was just supposed to ride the arc of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s and go away,” Jessamyn West, a 1990 Hampshire grad, advised Inside Larger Ed. “Maybe higher education is different now — maybe everybody should just learn to code, which I don’t personally believe. But I know that’s the feeling in the air.”



Gov. Charlie Baker appoints a trusted authorized aide, Cathy Judd-Stein, because the chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Fee. (State Home Information)

Outdoors observers are criticizing ongoing state insurance policies that permit exiting staff to money in a few of their unused trip and sick time which will have accrued over a few years. (Boston Herald)


Mayor Marty Walsh, in his State of the Metropolis speech, touts Boston’s efforts to deal with housing wants, local weather change, and different points in distinction to the federal authorities, which he stated has no coverage to cope with such challenges. (Boston Globe)

Legal professionals for the town of Brockton filed a response to a federal lawsuit filed final yr by a person alleging he was subjected to racial abuse by a metropolis parking management officer throughout a flap at a downtown parking zone. (Enterprise Information)


William Barr tells Senate Judiciary Committee members contemplating his nomination for lawyer basic that he respects particular counsel Robert Mueller and would let him end his investigation if put answerable for the Division of Justice. (New York Occasions)

Newly elected US Rep. Lori Trahan was appointed to a seat on the Home Armed Providers Committee, a panel her predecessor, Niki Tsongas, served on and used as a platform to deal with the difficulty of sexual assault within the army. (Related Press) Rep. Ayanna Pressley landed a seat on the Home Monetary Providers Committee. (Boston Globe)

A federal decide in New York ordered the Trump administration to take away a citizenship query from the 2020 census. (WGBH)

Because the federal authorities shutdown drags on, states are starting to fret that federal profit packages — Short-term Help for Needy Households on the finish of January and meals stamps on the finish of February — will expire. (Governing) Central Massachusetts officers are getting nervous. (Telegram & Gazette)

The Des Moines Register calls on US Rep. Steve King of Iowa to resign within the wake of his feedback about white nationalism and white supremacy.

Jeff Jacoby expresses incredulity at Trump’s feedback that the rulers of China’s murderous regime are “far more honorable” than Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. (Boston Globe)


Why not? New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand joins what’s shaping as much as be an unlimited Democratic presidential subject by saying — on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” — that she’ll search the celebration nomination. (Washington Submit) Might Seth Moulton be subsequent? (Boston Globe)


Lawyer Common Maura Healey information a 274-page memorandum concentrating on the Sackler household for its efforts to advertise Purdue Pharma’s gross sales of OxyContin in Massachusetts. (WBUR)

The Conservation Regulation Basis is making some waves with a letter expressing considerations concerning the redevelopment of the previous Boston Edison plant alongside the South Boston shoreline. (Boston Globe)

Conan Harris leaves his job with the town of Boston and takes a job as senior vice chairman of coverage and exterior affairs at School Sure Dorchester. (Dorchester Information) Harris is the husband of US Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who has put her condominium in Dorchester up on the market whereas she and Harris search for a brand new residence. (CommonWealth)


UMass Boston severs ties with its Confucius Institute, an on-campus educational middle funded primarily by the Chinese language authorities. (CommonWealth)

Ricardo Rosa, cochair of the New Bedford Coalition to Save Our Faculties, says his group will maintain a protest on Monday concentrating on an settlement that may permit an area constitution faculty to broaden however at a a lot smaller fee and underneath new circumstances governing which college students can attend. “We feel that it’s highly anti-democratic for these deals to be made behind closed doors,” he stated, referring to an settlement reached between Jeff Riley, the state schooling commissioner; Jon Mitchell, the mayor of New Bedford; and the Alma del Mar constitution faculty. (South Coast As we speak)

Ten of Longmeadow’s faculty directors invoke whistleblower safety as they criticize the Faculty Committee for its choice to not renew the contract of Superintendent Martin O’Shea. (MassLive)


Blue Cross Blue Defend of Massachusetts is awarding $1 million in grants to nonprofits that rent “recovery coaches” to assist individuals coping with habit points. (Boston Herald)


The Boston Middle for the Arts is rolling out a tiered pricing construction for its venues in response to a report suggesting efficiency areas have been inaccessible to most of the metropolis’s artists. (WBUR)


Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer notified the Hashish Management Fee that a police officer discovered vials containing marijuana in a dumpster outdoors a pot testing lab. In her letter to the fee, Spicer stated MCR Labs seemed to be disposing of the marijuana improperly. (MetroWest Every day Information)

The Plainridge Park On line casino has its greatest December ever. (Solar Chronicle)

Lawyer Common Maura Healey rejects a Charlton bylaw that may have required marijuana group host agreements to be permitted at city assembly. The bylaw was meant to dam a $100 million undertaking with pot cultivator Valley Inexperienced Develop. (Telegram & Gazette)


A corporation that oversees Jesuit clergymen in eight Northeastern states launched an inventory of 50 clergymen who’ve been credibly accused of sexual abuse courting again to 1950, together with 22 who lived in Massachusetts. (Boston Globe)

A brand new research suggests many prisoners may benefit if the federal ban on giving Pell grants to inmates was lifted. (MassLive)

Meet the Writer


John Henry has bought a former printing plant in Millbury for $5.6 million. Henry acquired the plant when he purchased the Telegram & Gazette and the Boston Globe from the New York Occasions Co. for $70 million in 2013. He bought off the T&G for $17.four million in 2014 and bought the Globe’s headquarters in Dorchester in 2017 for $81 million. All in all, his unique $70 million funding has netted him a complete of $104 million and he nonetheless owns the Globe. (Telegram & Gazette)


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