Hampshire College bringing finalists for president to campus

  • Hampshire College interim president Ken Rosenthal gives the celebratory address to the class of 295 graduates during commencement exercises in Amherst on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

Staff Writer
Thursday, July 04, 2019

AMHERST — Hampshire College is drawing closer to naming a new president.

In a message to campus Wednesday, the college announced that it has completed a preliminary round of interviews with candidates and will bring finalists to the campus for interviews next week. 

The school has put together at 15-person panel — five faculty members, five staff members and five students — that will take part in the interview process together with two representatives from the Alumni Advisory Group, some of the college’s deans and the senior leadership team.

Those groups will be charged with taking part in interviews and then providing feedback to the Presidential Search Committee.

“The Search Committee will then be charged with making a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which has the legal authority and responsibility to hire a President,” the message reads. “This has been a very fast yet rewarding process, and there is a lot of work to do yet, but we are thrilled to be approaching the final interview stage.”

The search for a new president comes after former president Miriam “Mim” Nelson resigned in early April amid criticism of her administration’s decision to pursue a “strategic partnership” with another institution.

Hampshire’s board of trustees decided earlier this year to admit only a skeleton class this fall, resulting in substantial staff layoffs and faculty reductions at the college, which relies on tuition and fees for almost 90 percent of its revenue.

The school is now attempting to maintain its independence through fundraising, and interim President Ken Rosenthal announced last month that the board of trustees had voted to accept a full class in the fall of 2020.

Hampshire is now in the process of recruiting those students, as well as rebuilding its admissions and financial aid offices, which were hit hard by layoffs. 

This fall, 15 students will arrive on campus as part of the small 2019 class.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.