Hampshire College's New President Says School Must Transform Higher Education, Again

Jul 18, 2019

Hampshire College's new president said the way for the Amherst, Massachusetts, school to get back on its feet is to embrace its roots as an innovator in higher education.

Ed Wingenbach said the decision Hampshire made not to accept a full class this fall, means the school doesn't have as many students as it needs to balance a budget.

And he said Hampshire's uniqueness has somewhat eroded as other colleges have adopted similar student-designed programs, but he said the school can succeed.

"By becoming distinctive again," said Wingenbach, "and inventing, again, the new ways to think about undergraduate education, and implementing them and doing them well, we'll restore the rightful distinctiveness of Hampshire College."

Wingenbach, who begins in August, said Hampshire will invite students to be part of the adventure of reinventing the school.

In addition, Wingenbach said the school also has to shrink its expenses. He said he doesn't know if that will mean losing more faculty, but he said labor is the main cost at any college.