Monday, December 24, 2018

What's Newbury?

"Newbury College to shut down in the spring" by Laura Krantz and Deirdre Fernandes Globe Staff  December 14, 2018

BROOKLINE — Newbury College, a small liberal arts school in a lush enclave of this upper-class town, will shut down at the end of the spring semester, the college announced Friday.

The news came four months after the school was placed on probation by regional accreditors over concerns about Newbury’s shaky finances. In a note to students Friday, college president Joseph Chillo said that after much deliberation, he and the trustees had determined it was best to close.

“It is no secret that weighty financial challenges are pressing on liberal arts colleges throughout the country,” Chillo wrote. “Newbury College is no exception.”

The news came on a quiet afternoon when most students had already returned home for the holidays, and janitors were almost the only people left on campus.

Merry Christmas, kids.

Newbury, which has 627 students this fall and tuition of about $34,000, is the latest small private college to close amid an industry in crisis. Tuitions have become prohibitively expensive, forcing schools to offer large scholarships to attract students, and the number of college-age students is on the decline across the country.

That's the problem with education and every thing else in this country. Everything is an indu$try run by greedy and corrupt cretins!

Chillo has spent the past few years worrying about the school’s finances and trying to find a way for it to continue to serve its students, many of whom are low-income or the first in their family to attend college. The school was running a budget deficit, had sold buildings, and was exploring merging with another college.

“This stuff keeps you up all hours,” Chillo said in an interview in his office in March. “It’s a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week job. . . . You are constantly worrying about the institution.”

Newbury College’s closure, orderly so far, is already being contrasted with the chaotic shutdown of Mount Ida College, a school just 5 miles away in Newton that closed in May.....

That got some people mad.


"Before announcing shutdown, Newbury College recruited students from defunct Mount Ida" by Laura Krantz Globe Staff  December 18, 2018

When Mount Ida College announced last spring that it was shutting down, Newbury College in Brookline encouraged students to transfer to Newbury, assuring at least one anxious family that the college was in no financial peril itself.

Now Newbury is set to close too — leaving students devastated, none more than those who had recently arrived from Mount Ida and now feel twice betrayed.

Recruiting from Mount Ida was just one of the last-ditch measures that Newbury explored this year in its attempt to stay open. It also sold campus buildings and pursued a real estate deal with a for-profit education company based in the United Kingdom.

In the end, college officials announced last Friday that they would cease operations after the spring 2019 semester — the latest small, private college to succumb to financial pressure at a time when many are struggling.

“It’s just crazy. You really don’t expect this to happen when you go looking at colleges,” said Barbara Marshall, whose daughter, Samantha, attended Mount Ida before enrolling at Newbury.

Samantha Marshall reached out to Newbury before deciding to transfer there, asking specifically about the school’s finances and receiving an assurance that all was well.

“The short answer is that Newbury is doing well financially and there is no plan of merger or closure anytime soon,” a Newbury admissions office employee wrote in an April e-mail provided to The Boston Globe. “Newbury carries almost no debt at all, which allows us to operate comfortably even though we are a smaller school.”

On Monday, Joseph L. Chillo, the Newbury College president, acknowledged the letter was untrue.

I sure hope the kids learned a lesson regarding the bald-faced lying.

“I apologize and take full responsibility for the correspondence Newbury College had with this Mount Ida student, and I feel terrible this student is once again experiencing the heartbreak that comes with two college closures in one year,” Chillo said in a statement Monday.

“While the e-mail mischaracterized Newbury College’s financial situation, it was written by someone who would not have been briefed on the challenges we were facing at the time,” he said.

Look like he passed the buck even as he took full responsibility.

He said that last spring, the admissions office was told only that the school was seeing a record numbers of inquiries, applications, and acceptances. It was told the school, which has about 700 students, was seeing a 30 percent increase in deposits and greater demand for housing, but Chillo told the Globe in March that the school was trying to close a 10 percent budget shortfall amid declining enrollment, and the school’s publicly available financial statements show it ran a $2.8 million deficit last year. The school was placed on probation by accreditors for financial reasons in August, which it announced at the time.

Meanwhile, the deal with the UK-based education company, Global University Systems, appears to have fallen through after the state attorney general’s office asked questions.

Were they the ones that built the dorms over at UMass-Bo$ton?

Maura Healey’s office oversees charitable institutions, which include nonprofit colleges, to ensure they act consistently with their charitable missions and as stewards of their charitable assets. In this case, Healey’s office asked questions of the company and was later told the company was no longer pursuing the transaction.

“It is completely understandable that schools facing serious financial challenges would explore all options,” said a statement from the office’s spokeswoman Jillian Fennimore.

Healey’s office has praised the up-front way this school is approaching its closure, unlike the chaotic shutdown of Mount Ida, which had no plan for where students would finish their degrees.

Chillo said Newbury had a memorandum of understanding with Global University Systems but declined to cite the reason it fell apart.

He said Newbury wanted to partner with that company, which operates schools around the world, because “it is a well-established, international education provider that had already experienced success in other parts of the world.”

“Not only would partnering with Global have addressed our accreditor’s concerns regarding the college’s financial stability, it would have allowed Newbury College’s board of trustees and administration to retain their authority over the college, remain at our current location, maintain our rigorous academic standards, leave us debt-free, create the largest endowment in the college’s history, and put the interest of our students first,” the statement said.

Newbury College costs about $35,000 per year in tuition plus another $15,000 for room and board. The average student pays $25,000 after financial aid. The liberal arts college serves a population that is two-thirds low-income and more than half students of color. The six-year graduation rate is 39 percent and 32 percent of students transfer elsewhere, federal data show.

Barbara Brittingham, president of the New England Commission of Higher Education, the regional accrediting agency, said Chillo worked hard on behalf of the school and stayed in touch with accreditors throughout.

She said the commission had not seen the final deal with the for-profit company but added ultimately it would have required approval from the agency.

Brittingham said unfortunately she expects to see this situation again. The higher education landscape is increasingly dotted with small colleges that can no longer make ends meet, amid a declining population of college-age students and tuitions that have become prohibitively expensive.

Not only that, but "private company executives have taken seats on college boards and brought with them compensation practices that are common in the business world," a practice known as the “golden handcuffs.”

“Alas, I think there will be more to come,” she said.

What that translates to is education and degrees increasingly out of reach and a complete elimination of any type of middle class. This after they saddled the last generation with student debt.

In the meantime, students and professors at Newbury are working through their grief.

For Barbara Marshall’s daughter, this is the third college in three semesters. She first attended the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, but decided it was too far from home, eventually transferring to Mount Ida and then Newbury. She wants to be an interior designer.

Marshall’s older daughter also attended Mount Ida and has transferred to the State University of New York campus in Canton, which is significantly more expensive, she said.

Marshall said Mount Ida gave her younger daughter about $20,000 per year in scholarships, and Newbury matched that. She was saving money by living at home, so Newbury was going to cost her about $10,000 per year, which she was paying for with loans, her mother said.

She said she found it particularly disheartening that Newbury notified students after they had returned home for break. The day before the school announced its closure last week, her daughter had danced around their living room, elated by the four A’s and a B she received this semester at Newbury. “It’s not quite as bad as Mount Ida, but there’s definitely some deception going on here,” she said.

Welcome to the world outside of the college bubble (same as in$ide, actually).


RelatedCollege of St. Joseph on the brink of closure

Also see:

"Stephen Spinelli Jr., a cofounder of Jiffy Lube International, Inc. who worked at Babson from 1993 to 2007, will become the college’s 14th president in July, the school said Friday. He is married to Carol Fulton Spinelli, an organist and choir director, with whom he has two adult children. His daughter, Kathryn, lives in Westwood with her husband, and their two young sons, Spinelli said. Spinelli plans to begin visiting Babson after the holidays. A New England Patriots fan, he said he is happy to be returning to Massachusetts. Watching the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the Patriots in the 2018 Super Bowl was “crushingly painful,” he said....."

I'm sure he will be able to bridge the divide.

I wonder how much he is getting paid.

Time to clean it all up:

"Running the operations of the reform Jewish K-8 Rashi School in Dedham school goes beyond equipment maintenance and janitorial services. Because of recent school shootings around the country, he’s also charged with helping to ensure the children and staff are safe. The building is monitored with security cameras, and there are other security measures that he’s reluctant to disclose....."


Speculation builds as Newbury College announces it will sell its campus