Former Marlboro College Faculty Members Rallying To Keep Campus Open

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Last month, Marlboro College announced plans to close its Marlboro campus and merge with Emerson College, in Boston. Now a group led by former faculty members says it's working on a different plan.

Retired faculty members T. Hunter Wilson and Adrian Segar are working on what they call "Reboot: Marlboro College 2.0." Wilson said he believes there’s a way to keep the college viable.

"Marlboro College is not an institution like some of the others that have closed that were mired in debt," he said. "Marlboro has a substantial endowment and very little debt."

Marlboro's endowment is valued at $30 million, according to the school. A spokesman for Marlboro declined comment until after the former faculty members meet with President Kevin Quigley on Tuesday. Emerson College officials did not immediately return requests for comment.

In the fall of 2018, the school had just 142 students. Wilson noted the school does have clear enrollment problems, but said he thinks that can be fixed.

"It's a disaster to be resisted, rather than inevitability simply to be accepted," he said.

Wilson said they're working with dozens of local residents, faculty and alumni on creating an alternative plan.

"If we’re given time actually to follow through on this, we may be able to pull it together," he said.

Wilson admits it’s an uphill battle. But, he said, Marlboro College has always faced an uncertain future.

"I don’t think it’s a certainty at all," said Wilson. "But we’ve got through 76 years of uncertainty already, so I think we can get through this one."

This story first published on Vermont Public Radio, with reporting from WBUR and the Associated Press.