An Update from the Graduate School
To: Graduate and Professional Studies Faculty
From: Richard Glejzer, Provost and Dean of Faculty
Date: February 14, 2020
Subject: Teach-Out Agreement between Marlboro College and Prescott College
All of us at Marlboro recognize that this has been a tumultuous time for our entire community. And while much of our public focus has been on our undergraduate programs, we have also been working to continue to support our graduate programs in a way that honors the work that all of you have done to create vibrant programs that engage students. I know Tristan has provided updates on this process and has shown his appreciation to each of you, but I also want to thank you for remaining engaged and being dedicated teachers for our Graduate and Professional Studies students.
As you know, Marlboro has been exploring partnerships over the past year because our financial condition has worsened. There is already a lot of information in the public record that explains how this came to be but the short answer is our revenue losses, due to dwindling enrollments, have forced the College to draw on our endowment at rates that are unsustainable. The alliance with Emerson College provides Marlboro with a means of preserving our mission while also providing a future home for our current undergraduate students and faculty.
I want to assure you that we did discuss the possibility of Marlboro’s Graduate and Professional Studies also migrating to Emerson. However, our programs do not fit well with Emerson’s current offerings and they have asked us to find other ways to accommodate our students going forward. Working closely with Tristan, Fumio Sugihara and I explored a range of other institutions that might be good homes for our programs and students. Our assessment focused on a number of criteria, but we were most interested in finding a home that allowed students to finish the program they started on a timeline that worked best for them. Although we had a preference for a Vermont institution, we were much more concerned about our students being able to finish on their own terms, without losing time toward their degree and without having to pay substantially more than they do now. After working with several institutions, we have decided to merge our management graduate programs with Prescott College, effective at the end of the current Winter term.
Prescott College, a recognized leader in online graduate studies, approached us with a proposal to teach-out our Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and Masters of Science in Management (MSM). They offer significant flexibility for students, with the ability to adjust their programs to fit our students needs. They will accept all Marlboro credit and will work with each student individually to provide a path towards finishing what each student started at Marlboro. As you may know, Prescott also served as the teach out partner for Green Mountain College and we have only heard good things about that transition from former GMC faculty and graduate students. Prescott also made pedagogical sense; like Marlboro, Prescott emphasizes sustainability, independent learning, and social responsibility.
While the agreement is highly favorable for GPS students, there are also benefits for our GPS faculty. Prescott is willing to hire Marlboro faculty to work with Marlboro students who transfer in order to provide a cohesive experience. These will be in part-time associate roles and in proportion to the number of Marlboro students who opt to attend Prescott. In recognition of GPS faculties’ commitment to mentorship, Prescott is also willing to hire GPS faculty as mentors for individualized and individually- named mentored-study courses on a student-by-student basis or group basis. These details are still in the works and more information will be provided when it becomes available.
I know that all of us would prefer to continue the work we began at Marlboro on our Potash Hill campus. But I am grateful that we have found such a good partner for our management programs in Prescott. Tristan and Fumio will be working with their counterparts at Prescott to make this transition as smooth as possible.
Richard Glejzer Provost and Dean of Faculty