ERIC Number: ED184433
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Wilson College: A Case Study.
Beeman, Alice L.
The attempted closing of Wilson College in Pennsylvania, a 110-year-old liberal arts college for women, is recounted. In 1978 the board of trustees voted to close the college and preserve remaining assets for other educational purposes. A movement evolved to save the college, and subsequent litigation resulted in rulings in May 1979 that: (1) two trustees must leave the board; (2) the board must continue operating the college as a teaching institution; (3) the board had exceeded its authority in closing the institution and forming a foundation without authority from the court; (4) trustee defendants must pay court costs, but not from college funds; and (5) the court would retain jurisdiction over the college. The account is told by a trustee who favored the closing, and draws upon board records from 1970 to 1979, college officials' reports, accreditation and consultants' reports, the press, and interviews with trustees, administrators, and faculty. Appended are a memo containing another trustee's comments on the account, a copy of the court decree, and a reprint of an editorial entitled "Judicial Overkill" from the September 1979 issue of Change magazine. (MSE)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Case Studies, Court Litigation, Decision Making, Declining Enrollment, Educational History, Financial Problems, Governance, Governing Boards, Higher Education, Legal Responsibility, Power Structure, Retrenchment, School Closing, Single Sex Colleges, Small Colleges, Teacher Attitudes, Trustees
Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities, 800 N. 3rd St., Harrisburg, PA 17102
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Lilly Endowment, Inc., Indianapolis, IN.
Identifiers: Institutional Histories; Liberal Arts Colleges; Wilson College PA
Note: Prepared for discussion at a Lilly Endowment seminar for Indiana Independent Colleges and Universities (October 10, 1979).