Monday, June 22, 2015

Joy Over Sweet Briar’s Reopening Is Tempered by Questions About the Road Ahead

The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 22nd, 2015

Sweet Briar College’s tentative reopening is a victory for its supporters, who refused to quit on the 114-year-old women’s college after the Board of Directors voted in February to shut it down.
That victory is tempered, however, by uncertainty about what will happen next. The college, on a 3,000-acre campus near Lynchburg, Va., now plans to reopen in the fall, but the extent of the trauma caused by the decision to close it — and the subsequent fight to keep it open — is not yet clear. Meanwhile, the college still faces the same enrollment and revenue challenges that prompted the decision to shut down.
Many of the administrators who made that decision will not be part of Sweet Briar’s attempted rebirth. Under the terms of an agreement announced on Saturday by Virginia’s attorney general, at least 13 members of the Board of Directors will step down. Phillip C. Stone, a former president of Bridgewater College, in Virginia, is expected to take over the reins from Sweet Briar’s current president, James F. Jones Jr.

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