In response to deepening financial woes exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Becker College in Massachusetts is permanently closing its doors after 237 years of operation.
Chair of the Board of Trustees Christine Cassidy revealed that they voted on March 28 to close the college because it could no longer financially maintain day-to-day operations.
She further admitted that while they tried to cope with the accelerating effects of the current health crisis, their efforts yielded only negative results.
“We pushed ourselves to develop scenarios in which Becker remained open for another year and beyond. However, those scenarios included more debt, selling assets, and further cutting operations,” she explained.
“We concluded that this would be irresponsible and unsustainable over time… We want this closure process to be one that conveys the maximum possible respect and support for everyone whose lives and careers we know it will affect,” she added.
Becker College vowed to provide academic support and transitional services to its more than 2,000 students until the fall semester begins.
Students React to Closure
Although the imminent closure of Becker was foreseen as early as March 2, students were still dismayed upon hearing the news.
Junior Callie Bucchino expressed that she was very sad and confused because she currently has no idea what to do next.
Her brother Conner Bucchino stated that he feels like the school has broken his trust with regard to providing him with an education.
“The only option I was given in an email was Clark University. I don’t know much about them other than they had a video design program and it fell through,” he told Boston 25. “If I felt like changing, I’m essentially going to lose all my funding because they want me to pursue that major.”
Clark University Comes to the Rescue
On Monday, Clark University in Massachusetts announced that it will be launching a new school in an effort to continue one of Becker College’s most renowned programs.
The opening of Becker School of Design & Technology in Worcester is an effort to provide a path for current enrollees at Becker to continue their “leading-edge” studies.
“We proudly welcome Becker students to Clark University, and we’re thrilled not only to nurture these signature Becker programs, which are already among some of the best in the world, but also to expand them and broaden their scope,” Clark University President David Fithian said.
“By merging Becker’s strengths in these dynamic areas with the heft of a Clark liberal arts education, we’re creating an amplified and energized academic experience that uniquely equips our students to confront challenges on a global scale and embrace emerging opportunities in the 21st-century economy. This is a perfect fit,” he added.