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AAUP Letter on Closure of Sweet Briar College

On June 5, the AAUP sent a letter to the president of Sweet Briar College lamenting the recent decision by the college's board to close the institution. 

On March 3, 2015, with no warning, the board determined the college's fate without any faculty participation, in evident disregard of widely accepted AAUP-recommended governance standards, as set forth in the Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, jointly formulated by AAUP, the American Council on Education, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. The board acted in secrecy, even though for two years the college's faculty had been developing alternative curricular and programmatic scenarios to assure Sweet Briar's survival.

It is not clear at the date of this writing, moreover, that the institution will take steps consistent with the following provision from On Institutional Problems Resulting from Financial Exigency: Some Operating Guidelines: when the situation is such "as to warrant cessation of operation, the institution should make every effort in settling its affairs to assist those engaged in the academic process so that, with minimal injury, they can continue their work elsewhere."

The full letter is attached.


Publication Date: 
Friday, June 5, 2015