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Hampshire Faculty cuts some worker advantages to rein in finances

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Dive Temporary:

  • Amid uneven headwinds for the sector, Hampshire Faculty has diminished some worker advantages, together with suspending retirement contributions for workers for fiscal 2025, a spokesperson mentioned in an electronic mail.
  • Senior management on the faculty will even take cuts to their compensation. On the identical time, the Massachusetts-based personal faculty is giving raises to all staff who make $100,000 a yr or underneath and giving all staff 5 additional paid days off.
  • The school’s enrollment is steady however headwinds together with delays within the Free Software for Federal Pupil Help prompted it to reassess its income and expense mannequin, the spokesperson mentioned.

Dive Perception:

Some 5 years in the past, Hampshire flirted with closure. It went as far as to solely admit a partial class of scholars in 2019, and it was actively searching for a merger associate to assist maintain it. 

Since these financially distressed days, the faculty has launched a serious fundraising drive that raised greater than $43 million thus far, the spokesperson famous. It has additionally revamped its curriculum to switch majors and departments with lessons centered on addressing urgent world points.

Hampshire’s enrollment has recovered “considerably” over that point, the spokesperson mentioned. The school initiatives regular enrollment of 1,000 college students by the 2026-27 educational yr, and it expects 900 full-time enrolled college students for the autumn — up from underneath 500 final yr. 

Even with these developments, the faculty ran a whole working deficit of $3.4 million in fiscal 2023, a greater than tenfold improve from the prior yr, in accordance with its newest monetary report. The distinction is because of a lower of almost $3.7 million in federal COVID-19-related funds that diminished Hampshire’s revenue in 2023 by that quantity, the spokesperson famous.

“Hampshire Faculty stays on a robust path again to monetary sustainability,” President Ed Wingenbach mentioned in an emailed assertion this week. “During the last 5 years, we have been a part of a rare comeback and I am assured the proficient group right here can help this extraordinary work, whereas making a sustainable working mannequin the place bills and revenues match.”

The advantages adjustments are comparatively modest in comparison with different establishments which are making cuts a few of them fairly massive to applications, college and workers this yr. 

Columbia Faculty Chicago, as an illustration, lately introduced cuts to 70 positions on campus, a 5% discount in college and workers. And College of Lynchburg, in Virginia, mentioned it will nix 40 workers roles within the quick time period and get rid of 40 college positions within the coming years because it cuts applications and tries to stability its finances.

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