President Lee Pelton was featured in Inside Higher Ed, talking about a spate of mergers between and closures of small private colleges with small endowments.
Pelton said these developments were “part and parcel of a market correction in our industry, as small struggling institutions with small endowments and high discount rates, and volatile enrollments, are seeking to find their way,” particularly in Massachusetts, with its shrinking number of students.
The article goes on to say:
Emerson might have been such a college a generation ago, but now it enrolls only about a third of its students from all of New England. The college also has campuses in Los Angeles and the Netherlands and is about to start programs in France and Switzerland. The college admits a little more than one-third of applicants.
Pelton warns that the merger of two vulnerable institutions, rather than strengthening the resulting college, can sometimes just lead to one vulnerable institution.