The current crisis has catalyzed the Hampshire community to Re-Envision Hampshire as a thriving independent institution.

We are proposing significant structural changes that will:

  • attract and retain students

  • achieve financial equilibrium

  • create curricular flexibility while retaining stability

  • re-engage our Five College consortium

  • embrace and integrate our alums

  • showcase the vital importance of this experimental college for the 21st century

This Re-Envisioning Plan Affirms Hampshire’s Guiding Values

  • Interdisciplinary

  • Critical Inquiry

  • Collaboration

  • Sustainability

  • Accessibility

  • Equity

  • Social Justice

  • Experimentation

  • Creativity

Re-Envisioning Hampshire College Will:

  • Harness inspiration from our history and the present

  • Maintain the divisional system

  • Retain narrative evaluations

  • Ensure student-directed and collaborative learning

  • Institute a flexible living curriculum

  • Empower collaboration across the college community

  • Pioneer new models of administration, governance, and finance

  • Achieve financial sustainability

  • Reinvigorate the admissions process

  • Increase global outreach

Re-Envisioning an Independent Hampshire

  1. Foster Community through Collaboration and Mentorship

    • Hampshire will create a new Community Commons to attract and retain students through a more radically engaged and collaborative college community

  2. Launch Interdisciplinary Research Centers with Flexible Curriculums

    • Hampshire will re-emerge as a leader in higher education through a flexible living curriculum responsive to 21st century problems and possibilities

  3. Establish a Sustainable Financial Model Aligned with our Values

    • Hampshire will achieve financial sustainability via new structures, cost cutting, and renewed fundraising efforts that draw from newly galvanized alumni and a new curricular model

The Community Commons: Fostering Collaboration and Mentorship

The Community Commons re-envisions collaboration and community engagement as a core curricular and co-curricular component of a Hampshire education. The Community Commons will strengthen the connection between Student Life and Academic Affairs, and address all levels of individual, interpersonal, and programmatic development, while fostering a culture of mentorship.

  • Supporting community engagement, collaborative leadership, facilitation, peer mentoring, and advising practices

  • Staff, alums, and faculty engaging with students around curricular activities

  • Fall Orientation for the entire community (not just first years) creating common ground

  • Fully integrating upper divisional students as peer advisors and mentors

  • Development of community partnerships, internships and community-engaged projects across the curriculum

  • Trainings, shared tools, skill development, and leadership opportunities across campus

Interdisciplinary Research Centers: A 21st Century Living Curriculum

This plan restructures the academic program as a flexible living curriculum organized through Interdisciplinary Research Centers (IRC) responsive to contemporary concerns and possibilities (e.g., Migrations, Performance, Environments, Intelligences, Inequalities). The IRCs will reestablish our competitive edge through a curriculum that is constantly evolving, addressing national and global issues while reducing student isolation by creating academic communities.

  • Enhance Hampshire’s reputation as an undergraduate research college

  • Reinvigorate the links between theory and practice

  • Affiliate faculty, students, and staff with a particular IRC

  • Foster collaborative engagement among students, faculty, staff, and alumni

  • Enhance instruction via visiting artists, activists, practitioners, and post-doctoral fellows

  • Prepare students for graduate school, careers, and lifelong learning

New Revenue Streams: Alumni, New Programs, and Land Use

Capitalize on Renewed Alumni Engagement

  • Leverage fundraising efforts with the new college plan

  • Involve alums in instructional support and new initiatives

  • Enlist alums in savvy recruitment of students

  • Build alumni-to-campus community connections

  • Formalize alumni engagement by coordinating volunteer network

Develop Summer Institutes, Graduate Programs, and Certificates

  • Pre-professional Summer Institutes and internships

  • Selected MA programs and certificates

  • Semester-long special programs for visiting students

Make Innovative Use of Our Land

  • Develop mixed-income housing

  • New agricultural, commercial, and non-profit development

  • Sustainable “green living” community

Cost Savings: Salaries and Five Colleges

Rethink Salary Equity and Retention

  • Augment FT faculty with visiting artists, practitioners, and post-docs

  • Cap administrative salaries and expenses

  • Integrate institutional support for staff

Re-Embrace Five College Partnership

  • Explore operational and administrative cost-sharing

  • Cultivate additional shared resources and initiatives

  • Attract Five College students to summer Institutes and graduate certificates

Financial Summary

Revenue Generation: Rebranding Hampshire as a Collaborative Research College

  • Improve retention

  • Attract a wide array of students

  • Reverse declining yield among high-paying students to increase aid to lower-paying students

  • Attract more international and other students who seek a path to graduate study

  • Draw new funding from foundations through the innovative curriculum

  • Capitalize on alumni involvement for fundraising and growing the endowment

  • Increase stable revenue generated by new uses of land

Blend of Tenured and Visiting Faculty Provides Stability and Flexibility

  • As new lines become available (through growth, retirements, or resignations), hire new tenure-track Assistant Professors for continuity

  • Create 3-year endowed non-renewable visiting positions for artists, activists, practitioners, and teaching post-doctoral fellows that will enhance our curriculum and lower labor costs

  • 90 regular professors (all ranks), 30 visitors


  • Student body of 1200 (plus 100 in summer), faculty of 120 (1:10 ratio) (a larger student body would require higher student:staff ratio)

  • An annual fund donation of $5 million through increased engagement by the alums

  • In the short term, increase contribution from the endowment, then decrease this contribution

  • $10-15 Million from fundraising closes the FY19-20 deficit

  • Retaining faculty and staff will increase student retention, reduce need for severance, and result in a smaller deficit

With greater access to financial information, this can be developed more fully

Re-Envisioning an Independent Hampshire

A partnership among the board, faculty, staff, students, and alumni can ensure an independent Hampshire that retains its values and is financially sustainable. We propose forming a Council to further explore these ideas and to enable a transition year, with limited to no layoffs, while we develop and implement this plan:

Find alternatives to terminations and layoffs

  • Furloughs and leaves of absence with guaranteed return

  • Shared positions to help close the gap for 2019/2020

  • Visiting positions in the Five Colleges

Increase the number of students for 2019-2020

  • Actively work to retain current students by engaging them in the process of Re-Envisioning Hampshire

  • Encourage incoming transfers

  • Actively recruit a class for Spring 2020

Harness the energized engagement of alumni and the public

  • Launch a capital campaign for long-term sustainability connected to the college’s 50th anniversary

  • Work with alumni to raise $10–15 million to support the transition.

Charting Hampshire’s Course for the Next 50 Years

The collaborative spirit embodied in the faculty proposal represents the spirit which gave rise to Hampshire. This is precisely the creative and forward looking planning that is needed now to chart Hampshire’s course for the next fifty years. Empowering young people to shape their own education is a demanding task that requires collaboration from faculty and staff and alumni as well as those from outside the academy. The effort to chart Hampshire’s future must begin with faculty and their collaborators who know firsthand what the task involves. The faculty proposed Council for planning the future will enable Hampshire to move forward and, as past presidents and founders, we stand ready to support the effort in any way that we can.
— Charles Longsworth (2nd President of Hampshire College), Adele Simmons (3rd President of Hampshire College), Gregory Prince, Jr. (4th President of Hampshire College), Penina Glazer (Former Vice President of Hampshire College)

We urge you to pledge now to give this plan a chance!

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