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Hampshire College Maintains Accreditation, Advances Plan for Its Future

AMHERST — Hampshire College remains in compliance and will continue its accreditation, according to a vote by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) at its meeting on Nov. 22.

NECHE reviewed Hampshire’s progress report and five-year plans before acting to continue the college’s accreditation. The commissioners lifted their notation on Hampshire’s compliance with the standard of organization and governance, citing significant progress in this area. NECHE recognized such progress as the hiring of a new president, substantial achievements with respect to good practices for governing boards, and considerable progress in realistic planning with respect to enrollment, fundraising, and finances. The commissioners continued Hampshire’s notation on the standard of institutional resources and asked the college for a full progress report in two years, in December 2021.

“We thank the commissioners for their careful review and affirmation of our compliance with the commission’s standards for accreditation,” said President Ed Wingenbach, who made accreditation a priority when he began his tenure in August. “Upholding our accreditation is a critical step toward securing a long future for Hampshire College. As we told NECHE, we see our path forward as ambitious, data-driven, and achievable.”

A team of Hampshire College administrators and trustees, led by Wingenbach and board chair Luis Hernandez, met with the NECHE commissioners on Nov. 21 and reported that Hampshire’s leadership is secure and its board of trustees governance is strong. The college is actively recruiting new students for 2020, its 50th-anniversary year, as it plans to rebuild to full enrollment by 2023-24. The college has also been conducting a rapid, community-wide process to reinvent its curriculum and student experience.

In the coming months, Hampshire will draw on the continued support of its alumni, donors, friends, and community members to meet admissions and fundraising goals.

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