2017 grinds on, and another American campus announced plans for serious cuts. It’s definitely a queen sacrifice instance.
The school in question is Wheelock College in Boston. It is:
put[ting] its president’s house on the market, is trying to sell one of its dormitories, and is reevaluating its programs, including perhaps eliminating undergraduate degrees altogether in the future.
It’s not clear which programs in particular face the ax.
What’s causing the crisis? Dear readers, you already know: “mounting financial pressure and plunging enrollment.”
In 2014, the school accepted its largest freshman undergraduate class of 265 students. This year, Wheelock is hoping to enroll 150 freshmen.
The school’s graduate enrollment is also sliding. It enrolls about 330 graduate students and expects to admit about 150 students this fall, Haugabrook said.
Meanwhile, Wheelock saw its operating expenses outpace revenue by $2.6 million in 2016 and $2.5 million in 2015.
Its endowment has also been shrinking, from $53.9 million in 2015 to $50 million in 2016, according to its financial statements.
The crisis goes beyond cuts today: “The school will recruit a freshman undergraduate class for 2018, but plans for 2019 are on hold as Wheelock charts its new direction.”
What can we learn from poor Wheelock? Sometimes an institution possesses valuable property that it can part with for short-term cash. Queen sacrifices (and more) are sometimes the strategies of recently-hired leaders, like David Chard, who arrived a couple of months ago. And things are getting even more competitive in the American northeast.
My sympathies go to Wheelock’s faculty, staff, and students.