Based in 1970 as a test in better training, Hampshire College announced today that it might rent Edward Wingenbach, forty-nine, as its eighth president. A political technology professor-became-university administrator, he is leaving a six-month submit as appearing President of Ripon College, a liberal arts college in Wisconsin with fewer than 800 college students wherein he had previously served as a poli sci and government professor. Founded in 1854, Ripon seems like one of the maximum conservative faculties inside the Midwest. It is the birthplace of the Republican birthday celebration. Ripon ranks at No. 536 on Forbes’ listing of America’s 650 pinnacle faculties. Hampshire ranks at No. 276.
Wingenbach travels together with his own family from Wisconsin to Hampshire’s campus in Massachusetts nowadays and couldn’t be reached for comment. “I don’t know” whether or not Wingenbach is himself a conservative, says Hampshire spokesman John Courtemanche. But the contrast between Hampshire’s popularity as a bastion of progressivism and Ripon’s conservative history is stark.
The appointment of a brand new president marks a leap forward for Hampshire, wherein enrollment has shriveled from 1,400 to six hundred. Less than seven months ago, it appeared as it’d pass beneath. The most modern of the five colleges in a consortium that includes Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst has struggled financially. In January, then-president Miriam E. Nelson said the school turned into seeking a protracted-time period companion. In early April, Nelson ceases amid differences with Hampshire’s board, which voted to start a fundraising campaign.
Hampshire had a balanced price range and a $ fifty-two million endowment. However, it nevertheless depended on lessons for ninety% of its sales. It couldn’t have enough money to offer the type of merit-resource inducements that competing schools with $1 billion-plus endowments use to draw top college students. Also, the populace of university-age college students inside the U.S. Is shrinking.
But Hampshire alumni who love the faculty kicked fundraising efforts into excessive equipment this spring. Filmmaker Ken Burns, the magnificence of 1975, chaired the effort, contributing an undisclosed amount himself. By overdue June, $9 million in cash and pledges were raised, and Hampshire introduced it would admit a complete freshman magnificence in the fall of 2020. Only 15 first-year students will start at Hampshire q4.
There are no grades or majors at Hampshire. Students design their very own route to having a look at. In January, bestselling writer Jon Krakauer posted a moving New York Times op-ed approximately how Hampshire had enriched his life. “Failing spectacularly in pursuit of a formidable purpose became the idea to be salutary, and the shellacking instilled some humility,” he wrote. “Whatever fulfillment I’ve had is rooted in the one’s classes.” At least for now, the Hampshire experiment will preserve.
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