ERIC Number: EJ956213
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 17
Case Study of a College that Closed: Saint Mary's College
Brown, Alice W.
New Directions for Higher Education, n156 p7-18 Win 2011
Few colleges choose to close. One that did was Saint Mary's College in Raleigh, North Carolina. Although trustees resisted for a decade, they ultimately made the decision before an anticipated denial of accreditation, allowing the college to control its final days in ways not possible for those who wait until an outside agency forces closure. This college, however, had an option not available to most small private colleges. Saint Mary's School had operated since 1842; when Saint Mary's junior college was established early in the twentieth century, the school continued to operate along with the college. Once the college was no longer financially viable, it closed, but the school continued to grow. Today, it is one of the largest private boarding schools for girls in the nation. What is most interesting about this case is how strongly the board and alumnae denied the need to close and resisted closing, even when the president pointed out significant reasons the college was not likely to remain viable. When Clauston Jenkins, who served as Saint Mary's College president roughly a dozen years prior to the closing of the college, took office in the late 1980s, he quickly saw that the college had lost its purpose, but it took ten years to convince his board of trustees. Jenkins prepared a journal of his years at the college, intended for reading after those involved are "no longer on the scene," and he agreed to allow the use of sections from it to reflect problems that led to the closure of Saint Mary's College. This article presents the story of Saint Mary's College, which comes from information gathered from that journal and an interview with Jenkins.
Descriptors: Private Colleges, Boarding Schools, Governing Boards, Trustees, College Presidents, School Closing, Educational History, Case Studies, Interviews, Resistance to Change, Alumni, Background, Educational Background, Performance Factors, Barriers, Content Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina