Save Hampshire College

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HELLO ALL - As you know, Ken Rosenthal has assumed leadership of Hampshire College. The Board of Trustees, students, staff, faculty, parents, and alumni still face significant challenges. A Re-envisioning Coalition composed of various stakeholders is meeting on campus and working with the Board of Trustees, Ken Rosenthal, and other groups such as Save Hampshire to chart out a strategy to save the college.

If you pledged to the Future Fund or Campaign for Hampshire, you can make good on your pledge by going to

We have accomplished an enormous amount and we now have a real chance to save the college.

Thank you all,

Stephan Cohen, F72


Dear President Nelson ,

After alumni have engaged in careful reading of the accreditation requirements as well as consideration of the fiscal requirements still under review in the legislative process, we are incredibly disappointed in HC leadership decision-making.

An alum has just been in discussion with the president of the NECHE Commission. As far as one can determine from her notes, there was no impending crisis about accreditation. We understand that the college is under fiscal pressure, but an intense fundraising drive with alumni and even the Pioneer Valley community could have given the college at least one more year to come up with a viable fiscal long-term plan.

We are truly dismayed by the process thus far. It seems to run by fear and reactivity, rather than careful deliberation. We are not members of the board of trustees, but rather alums trying to parse the various decisions made. The alumni—as well as parents, faculty, staff and students—have a great deal at stake and extensive resources to change the outcome.

We implore you to reconsider the admission of a fall 2019 class and inform prospective students that the college is going through a period of renewal and challenge. We have almost zero confidence in terms of the repercussions of another institution taking over Hampshire.  The Wheelock example is a chimera.  It appears Wheelock has been subsumed by Boston University. The vast majority of Wheelock faculty lost their jobs and adjuncts were also affected. We think this is a terrible example in terms of what Hampshire might look forward to. 

If an emergency call were put out to alumni at this moment we believe it would be possible to raise 3 to 5 million within several months, thereby buying Hampshire an additional year and the time to engage alumni, parents, faculty, staff and students in a plan for long-term fiscal viability.

Once again we must say that we are dismayed by the action of the board and the decisions taken thus far. A fundraising call-out to alumni two months ago indicating an urgent situation would likely have placed HC in a very different position today.

We realize that The board and administration are in a difficult position, but we think it is critical to be working CLOSELY with the alumni advisory group as well as alumni organizing on Facebook and elsewhere. It is also critical to include students, staff, faculty, and parents in the decision making and solicit Pioneer Valley community input. 

Thank you for your time and what I hope is your goodwill and flexibility in navigating through a very difficult situation.