Communications

An Updated Message from the Board of Trustees – April 2, 2021

To our Community, Neighbors, and Friends:


On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Becker College, many of whom live or work in the greater Worcester region, we write to share how we arrived at the painful decision to close Becker College.
As trustees, we are duty bound, not as day-to-day managers, but as overseers of the mission and the financial condition of the College. Many of us are also alumni, which makes this duty even more meaningful. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were keeping a watchful eye on the trends indicating a vulnerability among small colleges, including the declining number of college age students, the heightened level of student subsidy and the increased competition for a smaller pool of people. We supported the President, her team, faculty, and staff on measures to address these matters.


As enrollment fell in 2018 and 2019, the college began austerity measures to cut spending and balance the budget. Contracts with major vendors were renegotiated, funds raised, assets sold, departments consolidated and two buildings in downtown Worcester were vacated. There was also a reduction in staff and rollbacks in compensation, among other actions.


In 2020, the COVID-19 crisis quickly accelerated the need to take more aggressive actions necessary to maintain a reasonable and responsible balance sheet, and to operate the college in a fiscally responsible manner. The need for some of these measures was noted in a message to the Becker College community from the President in August 2020. In addition to a greater investment in technology – remote learning comes at a cost – there was an unanticipated and significant drop in the number of students who, due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, chose to not live on campus or dropped out. This loss of revenue had a dramatic impact on the ability of the College to continue to support and maintain day-to-day college operations in a financially sustainable manner.

Concurrent with these measures, we also sought various strategic opportunities including mergers or affiliations with other organizations to help us gain our financial footing. We had hoped that an alliance would be transformational, while generating revenue and assisting in optimizing the College’s financial resources. When this affiliation did not happen earlier this year, the continuing pandemic and its obvious impact on the College’s financial condition caused a sudden and significant shift in our position.


The Greater Worcester region has been a wonderful home to Becker College. We have appreciated the outreach from so many over the past few weeks, and we thank you for your ideas and words of encouragement and support. Closing the College is not the path we wanted to pursue. It is sad at every level. We have sufficient resources to complete this academic year, but not beyond that in a way that is fiscally responsible and in the best interest of students. College leadership has worked diligently to prepare appropriate academic pathways to allow students to seamlessly transfer to a new institution with minimal disruption to their academic plans.
We are committed to doing everything possible to ensure that our students, faculty, and staff have access to the best opportunities moving forward and finish this term in a strong and positive way. We know that our community, and our neighbors closest to us, will, as they always have, continue to be good caretakers of our campuses, as it has long been a home for you as much as it has been for our students.


Thank you.
Christine Cassidy, Chair
Cheryl Lapriore, Vice Chair


On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Becker College: John Budd, Scott Conti, Rebecca Crocker, Daniel DelMastro, Jeff Goodsill, Frances Polito, Dr. Gregory Pogue, Eurayshia Williams Reed, Edward Wilson

A Message from the Board Chair – March 29, 2021

Last night, the Board of Trustees voted to permanently close Becker College at the end of the current academic year. The College will provide academic, support and transitional services to students through August 31, 2021.  Following an orderly transition, classes will not resume in the Fall.  As already stated, graduation is currently set for Saturday, May 8, 2021.  

Closure of the College was a very painful decision for all of us. As Trustees we are duty bound, not as day-to-day managers, but as overseers of the mission and the financial condition of the College. Many of us are also alumni, which makes this duty even more meaningful. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were keeping a watchful eye on the trends indicating a vulnerability among small colleges, including the declining number of college age students, the heightened level of student subsidy and the increased competition for a smaller pool of students. We supported President Crimmin and her team on measures to address these matters.

As enrollment fell in 2018 and 2019, the college began austerity measures to cut spending and balance the budget. Contracts with major vendors were renegotiated, funds raised, assets sold, departments consolidated and two leased buildings in downtown Worcester were vacated. There was also a reduction in staff and rollbacks in compensation, among other actions.

In 2020, the COVID-19 crisis quickly accelerated the need to take more aggressive actions necessary to maintain a reasonable and responsible balance sheet, and to operate the college in a fiscally responsible manner. The need for some of these measures were noted in President Crimmin’s message to the community in August 2020. In addition to a greater investment in technology – remote learning comes at a cost – there was an unanticipated and significant drop in the number of students who, due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, chose not to live on campus, never registered, took a leave of absence, or dropped out. This loss of revenue had a dramatic impact on the ability of the College to continue to maintain financial day-to-day college operations.

Concurrent with these measures, we also sought various strategic opportunities including mergers or affiliations with other organizations to help us gain our financial footing. We had hoped that an alliance would be transformational, while generating revenue and assisting in optimizing the College’s resources. When this affiliation did not happen earlier this year, the continuing pandemic and its obvious impact on the College’s financial condition caused a sudden and significant shift in our position.   

The Greater Worcester region has been a wonderful home to Becker College. This has proven out in the outreach from so many over the past few weeks, providing words of encouragement. Closing the College is not the path we wanted to pursue. It is sad at every level. We have sufficient resources to complete this academic year, but not beyond that in a way that is fiscally responsible and in the best interest of students. We have worked diligently to prepare appropriate academic pathways to allow students to transfer to several new institutions without worrying about things such as deadlines and admissions fees.

The College has made arrangements with several area universities to provide admission to Becker students; those details are available on the Becker microsite.  We are committed to doing everything possible to ensure that our students, faculty, and staff have access to the best opportunities moving forward and finish this term in a strong and positive way.   

Sincerely,

Christine Cassidy, Chair

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Becker College: John Budd, Scott Conti, Rebecca Crocker, Daniel DelMastro, Jeff Goodsill, Cheryl Lapriore, Frances Polito, Dr. Gregory Pogue, Eurayshia Williams Reed, Edward Wilson

Communications from President Nancy Crimmin

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