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The Emerson/Marlboro Alliance: How Is It All Coming Together?

students sitting under trees
Emerson students attend class in Boston Common. File photo/Derek Palmer

The proposed alliance between Emerson and Marlboro colleges announced last November promises to preserve Marlboro’s legacy of independent inquiry and strengthen Emerson’s commitment to providing students with a diverse liberal arts education.

But in order for that to happen, a number of groups at both Emerson and Marlboro need to work out the terms and details of the historic alliance. Here’s a bit about the Emerson working groups, and who is serving on them.

Student Life & Enrollment Working Group

This group is tasked with making sure that Marlboro students feel welcome and understood at Emerson, and that those who enroll at Emerson in September 2020 have as seamless a transition to the College as possible. Members will develop plans to support the new students and to weave Marlboro’s culture into Emerson’s community. They will also discuss recruitment of students into a future Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College.

Linda Schwartz, Emerson Board of Trustees
Robert Friend, Emerson Board of Trustees

Ruthanne Madsen, Vice President, Enrollment
Jim Hoppe, Vice President and Dean, Campus Life

Faculty/Academic Affairs Working Group

The Faculty/Academic Affairs committee consists of existing Emerson faculty committees (see below) who will advise on academic matters related to the Emerson/Marlboro alliance, including curricular and process/advising adjustments for the Individually Designed Interdisciplinary Program (IDIP), as the College looks to welcome both Marlboro students and new students to the Marlboro Institute. The committee also will work on ways to support Marlboro faculty who choose to teach at Emerson. An ad hoc Student Academic Support Committee will look at administrative issues, including managing student records, transcripts, visas, class placements, and archival materials.

Michaele Whelan, Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs
Gary Grossman, Emerson Board of Trustees

Existing faculty committees, including President and Provost’s Advisory Committee, Faculty Council, Liberal Arts Council, Liberal Arts Curriculum Committee/Working Group, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and the Academic Cabinet. Up to 75 faculty members will have an opportunity to participate in these efforts.

Governance Working Group

The Emerson/Marlboro alliance will provide for a certain number of current Marlboro Trustees to join the Emerson Board of Trustees. The Governance group is working to determine not just the number of Marlboro members added, but how those trustees would be selected, what their term lengths would be, and whether any Marlboro by-laws should be incorporated into Emerson’s by-laws, among other considerations.

Lee Pelton, President
Al Jaffe, Co-Vice Chair, Emerson Board of Trustees

Jeff Greenhawt, Chair, Emerson Board of Trustees
Doug Holloway, Emerson Board of Trustees
Christine Hughes, Vice President/General Counsel

Campus Working Group

The Campus Working Group is charged with reviewing and advising on all aspects of Marlboro College’s Vermont campus, including researching and understanding economic, regulatory, environmental, and legal matters related to the property. The group will coordinate and review condition and market assessments of the campus, including potential use opportunities, as well as look at space considerations on the Boston campus.

Lee Pelton, President
Steve Samuels, Co-Vice Chair, Emerson Board of Trustees

Jeff Greenhawt, Chair, Emerson Board of Trustees
Paul Dworkis, Vice President, Administration & Finance

Fiduciary Working Group

This group is analyzing Marlboro’s assets and financial position, including matters related to the college’s endowment and investments, campus operations, and enrollment/employment of incoming Marlboro students and faculty. Members will develop a financial picture of the alliance over both the long and short term.

Michael MacWade, Treasurer, Emerson Board of Trustees
Paul Dworkis, Vice President, Administration & Finance

Jeff Greenhawt, Chair, Emerson Board of Trustees
Ellen Calmas, Emerson Board of Trustees
Eric Alexander, Emerson Board of Trustees
Leo Hindery, Emerson Board of Trustees

Staff Advisory Group

This group, comprising members of the Emerson Staff Union/SEIU 888, works closely with the Fiduciary Working Group to voice questions, concerns, and ideas about specific aspects of the proposed alliance on behalf of Emerson’s staff members.

Korina Figueroa (Instructional Technology Group), Staff Union Chief Steward
Nicole Martignetti (Institute)
Bob Parks, (Information Technology)
Amanda Wade (Registrar’s Office)

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