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General => General Division III issues => Topic started by: smedindy on March 03, 2015, 03:00:20 pm

Title: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: smedindy on March 03, 2015, 03:00:20 pm
http://www.sbc.edu/news/

They had six Varsity Sports...
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan) on March 03, 2015, 09:20:22 pm

My question: so they have $94m in endowment, plus, presumably, the value of the land and buildings.  What's going to happen to all that money.  I wonder what their dissolution clause looks like?  I assume it will have to go to education in some way.  They're not going spend it all on severance are they?
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Ralph Turner on March 03, 2015, 09:58:32 pm

My question: so they have $94m in endowment, plus, presumably, the value of the land and buildings.  What's going to happen to all that money.  I wonder what their dissolution clause looks like?  I assume it will have to go to education in some way.  They're not going spend it all on severance are they?
This may be the best time to "cut a deal" with a "sister institution".  No puns intended, but definitely pro-active.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: jknezek on March 04, 2015, 10:42:11 am
I wonder if it will go to Hollins? Hollins is the remaining all female institution in the area. It'll be interesting to see how they wrap it up. While the money appears to be there, I don't think the enrollment was. Sad to see SBC go.

Hampden-Sydney must be irritated. Another source of easy dates dries up. First Randolph went co-ed, then SBC closes, all that is left is Hollins. H-SC students tend to be unwelcome at the local co-ed schools, or at least they were when I was at W&L and as long after as I bothered to keep in touch with such things.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: smedindy on March 04, 2015, 03:52:35 pm
Funny, since Wabash men are welcomed by the fairer sex at DePauw (over Danny men) and also Purdue, Butler and IU.

St. Mary of the Woods' is the only all-female school in the area, and they usually fall for the Rose Hulman-ites...
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: HSCTiger74 on March 04, 2015, 11:50:51 pm
  Was there any thought given to going coed? I read what the president said about attracting students to "small, rural, private liberal arts colleges", but there seem to be quite a number of them in the D3 universe and it strikes me that admitting men would be a potential way to stave off closure, unless they are so strongly committed to the single-sex model as to make that impossible. I mean, if students are willing to apply to HSC, E&H, Maryville, Ferrum or Sewanee (just to name a few local-ish examples) then Sweet Briar doesn't seem like that much of a stretch.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: smedindy on March 05, 2015, 12:08:35 am
There's a problem attracting students to ANY college. The admissions beast must feed the budget for all but the select few with a large enough endowment.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Gray Fox on March 05, 2015, 10:01:49 am
In an interview this morning, the president said too much of the endowment was too restricted.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: jknezek on March 05, 2015, 10:04:51 am
In an interview this morning, the president said too much of the endowment was too restricted.

That's kind of what I was thinking. I bet a bunch of the endowment is meant for "female education" or some phrase with the same effect. I barely remember being there once, I wasn't exactly at my sober best during the visit, but I think it was a pretty place. I wonder what it will be used for.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: HSCTiger74 on March 05, 2015, 12:03:18 pm
In an interview this morning, the president said too much of the endowment was too restricted.

That's kind of what I was thinking. I bet a bunch of the endowment is meant for "female education" or some phrase with the same effect. I barely remember being there once, I wasn't exactly at my sober best during the visit, but I think it was a pretty place. I wonder what it will be used for.

I have no doubt there are a lot of us around who can say "amen" to that.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Ralph Turner on March 05, 2015, 12:15:16 pm
In an interview this morning, the president said too much of the endowment was too restricted.
Yes, and a "generous" 3% return on $94M is not much, especially if the endowments are too restricted!

http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/02/jpmorgan-charge-deposits/
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: tigerfanalso on March 05, 2015, 02:16:08 pm
JK
You keep referring to Hollins as the only other all female school in Virginia, Mary Baldwin is still hanging around.
I spoke to a SBC grad last nite, I don't think we've heard the last of this deal. Also heard Longwood University is interested in buying the SBC campus and turning it into a medical school.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: jknezek on March 05, 2015, 02:26:46 pm
JK
You keep referring to Hollins as the only other all female school in Virginia, Mary Baldwin is still hanging around.
I spoke to a SBC grad last nite, I don't think we've heard the last of this deal. Also heard Longwood University is interested in buying the SBC campus and turning it into a medical school.

You are right! I forgot about Mary Baldwin. My bad.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: narch on March 05, 2015, 05:17:11 pm
i posted this on the odac football board, because, to be honest, i didn't realize this board existed :)

$88 to $94 million (the numbers i've seen associated with their endowment) is not a terribly small endowment - it's more than approximately half of the other odac schools...and they have over 3,000 acres of land, which is an endowment of sorts if they were to sell some of it off - from what i've read, it seems as though the folks at sbc just gave up and threw in the towel - there are a number of schools that have been in much worse situations that have found a way to remain a going concern - i immediately think of mount olive in NC...they were on the brink of closing (i think they actually lost accreditation), but through branch campuses/distance education, they are, by all public accounts, relatively healthy and able to sustain a smallish enrollment on their main campus - sbc seems to have been more concerned with a clean exit strategy than they were with exploring options - i read that they have over 300 employess, yet just over 500 students - how about letting go of 1/3 to 1/2 of your employees? not fun to do, but it beats letting go of 100% of them, along with all of the students, doesn't it? - clearly sbc had some financial management issues, but those things can be fixed without shuttering the campus if you ask me

to put a sports spin on this, you don't just stop playing a football game when you're down 28-0 after the first quarter - it wasn't over when the germans bombed pearl harbor, was it? how can sbc seemingly give up so easily?

it will be interesting to see if any of the sbc athletes make an impact on other campuses in the odac and possibly even usasac - their teams aren't very competitive, but i imagine they have individual athletes on each team that could contribute to other programs - will the ncaa grant them an immediate release and do coaches start contacting them? it will be interesting to watch...

i also found this article  (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/03/05/where-will-sweet-briars-85m-endowment-go)- some interesting stuff - among the highlights, they've got about $20 million in endowment funds that are unrestricted - there are a good many d3 (and maybe even d2) schools whose total endowment isn't much more than $20 million, let alone the unrestricted portion - per the article, sbc has been operating at around a $2 million per year loss...to me, that gives them another 8 to 10 years to downsize and figure this out - they owe about $40 million to creditors, which is one of the big issues...inability to service debt is not good, but at the same time, that $2 million loss includes debt service - i also imagine that the college could have approached the donors (or the estate of the donors) and asked for the restrictions to be lifted in order for the college to remain a going concern - i imagine a good percentage would have done exactly that if the options were "lift the restrictions or we'll have to close" - perhaps much of this went on behind the scenes, but it seems that if it had, there would have been more talk of sbc struggling to keep its doors open
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Gregory Sager on March 05, 2015, 05:41:06 pm
Funny, since Wabash men are welcomed by the fairer sex at DePauw (over Danny men)

I think that I'm finally beginning to understand why the Monon Bell rivalry blows so hot. And it has nothing to do with an old locomotive tocsin.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Warren Thompson on March 06, 2015, 10:51:48 am
Funny, since Wabash men are welcomed by the fairer sex at DePauw (over Danny men)

I think that I'm finally beginning to understand why the Monon Bell rivalry blows so hot. And it has nothing to do with an old locomotive tocsin.

Calling a steam locomotive bell a "tocsin" ? Casey Jones would be mortified.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Gregory Sager on March 06, 2015, 05:47:56 pm
There's not that many synonyms for "bell" with which to work, WT. How would Casey Jones have felt if I had called the Monon Bell a tintinnabulum?
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: HSCTiger74 on March 06, 2015, 06:51:47 pm
There's not that many synonyms for "bell" with which to work, WT. How would Casey Jones have felt if I had called the Monon Bell a tintinnabulum?

Like you were showing off??  ;)
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Gregory Sager on March 06, 2015, 07:27:22 pm
There's not that many synonyms for "bell" with which to work, WT. How would Casey Jones have felt if I had called the Monon Bell a tintinnabulum?

Like you were showing off??  ;)

Using the word "bell" over and over again is boring.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: smedindy on March 06, 2015, 07:47:09 pm
A bell is a cup until it is struck...
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: ADL70 on March 06, 2015, 08:40:22 pm
There's not that many synonyms for "bell" with which to work, WT. How would Casey Jones have felt if I had called the Monon Bell a tintinnabulum?

Like you were showing off??  ;)

Using the word "bell" over and over again is boring.

But "bells" over and over again is poetry.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: David Collinge on March 06, 2015, 09:22:51 pm
What passing bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Ralph Turner on March 07, 2015, 11:09:20 am
"What passing bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns."
Wilfred Owen died 1 week before the Armistice, Nov 4, 1918.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: HSCTiger fan on March 10, 2015, 09:42:48 pm
Hampden-Sydney must be irritated. Another source of easy dates dries up. First Randolph went co-ed, then SBC closes, all that is left is Hollins. H-SC students tend to be unwelcome at the local co-ed schools...

HSC men don't go to Longwood, and Longwood men are seldom seen on HSC campus but the Longwood women are always visiting HSC. As are the women from Hollins, Randolph, Radford, VCU, Richmond, RMC UVA, JMU and others. Saturday before, during and after games most visitors would think HSC is coed. I know a lot of the HSC guys visit JMU and VT. 

It's sad to see any school close. I feel the worst for the juniors. Got to be tough.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: tigerfanalso on March 12, 2015, 10:29:47 am
Law firm has been hired to look into the legality of the closing of SBC. Evidently the professors and a large group of grads feel the board has not been transparent and are seeking a legal opinion on the matter. This matter could get interesting.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Ron Boerger on March 12, 2015, 12:51:05 pm
Law firm has been hired to look into the legality of the closing of SBC. Evidently the professors and a large group of grads feel the board has not been transparent and are seeking a legal opinion on the matter. This matter could get interesting.

It certainly doesn't seem that all alternatives were explored...
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: hoopstermom on March 13, 2015, 06:37:57 am
Randolph-Macon College in Ashland is making a generous offer to assist displaced students who may be left scrambling for options. 
http://www.rmc.edu/news-and-calendar/current-news/2015/03/11/r-mc-reaches-out-to-sweet-briar-college (http://www.rmc.edu/news-and-calendar/current-news/2015/03/11/r-mc-reaches-out-to-sweet-briar-college)

I wish the best for all SBC students and hopefully some will take advantage of this R-MC option.  In the face of a bad situation, R-MC will provide an excellent experience and a positive outcome for those that take advantage.

Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: tigerfanalso on April 02, 2015, 02:00:42 pm
more to come on this deal. two high powered law firms involved and all sorts of allegations being thrown around. asking for president and the entire board to be fired, etc.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Ron Boerger on April 02, 2015, 04:19:58 pm
Problem at this point is it's almost a fait accompli.    Everyone is making plans to go somewhere else next year, there's no incoming freshman class, so even if the SBC supporters win out you'll end up with nobody next year and only a small incoming class the next, your faculty is scrambling to find new jobs and may or may not come back if things are started up.    If the board simply wanted to torpedo the school, the announcement did a heck of a job towards that end.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: tigerfanalso on April 07, 2015, 09:09:42 am
accounting firm hired to review the books at SBC indicate the school was in good standing as of 8/15/14 and no financial reason to close the doors. Interesting at best. I agree with Ron Boerger, SBC has already been blown up for reasons he mentioned.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: jknezek on April 07, 2015, 09:29:39 am
Yeah. I don't see how you come back once you lose your human assets.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Ron Boerger on April 29, 2015, 09:06:08 am
Interesting read today in Newsweek on the SBC situation

http://www.newsweek.com/2015/05/08/end-sweet-briar-college-and-problem-womens-colleges-326363.html?piano_t=1

Strikingly, in answer to the "who needs a women's-only college in this day and age" question:

Quote
Today, graduates of women’s colleges make up just 2 percent of the college graduate population, yet they account for more than 20 percent of women in Congress and 33 percent of women on Fortune 1000 boards, according to “Why a Women’s College?,” a 2014 study.

One would think that could be huge marketing point for such institutions.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: sunny on April 30, 2015, 05:08:25 pm
Interesting read today in Newsweek on the SBC situation

http://www.newsweek.com/2015/05/08/end-sweet-briar-college-and-problem-womens-colleges-326363.html?piano_t=1

Strikingly, in answer to the "who needs a women's-only college in this day and age" question:

Quote
Today, graduates of women’s colleges make up just 2 percent of the college graduate population, yet they account for more than 20 percent of women in Congress and 33 percent of women on Fortune 1000 boards, according to “Why a Women’s College?,” a 2014 study.

One would think that could be huge marketing point for such institutions.

Would like to know what percentage of Congresswomen are graduates of women's only colleges that A) are NOT in New England AND B) are NOT named Bryn Mawr.  ;D
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Pat Coleman on April 30, 2015, 05:24:19 pm
+1
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: David Collinge on May 03, 2015, 04:54:39 pm
Maybe they saw that study and decided to close rather than risk the shame of producing a member of Congress.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: PolarCat on May 06, 2015, 10:18:51 am
They could have followed Smith College's lead and started openly recruiting / accepting transgender students.  Then invited Bruce Jenner to come to SBC and do a reality TV series, and teach a class on make up and wardrobe tips for the transgender population.  Niche marketing at its finest. 

And the looks on the faces of drunk male visitors from local colleges when they discovered a "surprise" would be priceless.

Actually, pretty glad they didn't go that route, as SBC was a wonderful place.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Gray Fox on May 12, 2015, 11:04:37 am
I just saw an article posted on Facebook about this.  I'm not going to post it here, but one of the comments about it was "follow the money."
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: jknezek on May 12, 2015, 01:57:35 pm
I just saw an article posted on Facebook about this.  I'm not going to post it here, but one of the comments about it was "follow the money."

The school did say money was the problem, so I'm sure both sides would use the same quote to mean completely different things. Random Facebook comments from partisans are generally not worth the minute amount of long dead dinosaur used to post them.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Ron Boerger on June 09, 2015, 04:30:03 pm
Closing has been temporarily held up by the VA Supreme Court:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/10/us/sweet-briar-colleges-closing-temporarily-blocked-by-virginia-supreme-court.html

Sent back to a lower court to resolve all kinds of issues

Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Gray Fox on June 20, 2015, 09:30:46 pm
Saved - For Now:

  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/agreement-reached-to-keep-sweet-briar-open-needs-court-approval/2015/06/20/6c9c43e4-179e-11e5-9ddc-e3353542100c_story.html
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on June 20, 2015, 11:26:22 pm
Saved - For Now:

  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/agreement-reached-to-keep-sweet-briar-open-needs-court-approval/2015/06/20/6c9c43e4-179e-11e5-9ddc-e3353542100c_story.html

Based on the article, I'd say one, at most two, years.

But stranger things have happened.

Telling current students to transfer, and newbies to find someone else, is NOT a good survival strategy. ::)
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Ron Boerger on June 21, 2015, 12:54:06 am
You wonder if it would make sense to take the upcoming year off so they can actually come up with a recovery plan.   How many students are going to come back?   How many newbies are you going to get with everything so much up in the air? 
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Stinger on July 16, 2015, 12:49:56 pm
About 300  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/07/15/in-less-than-two-weeks-almost-300-students-enrolling-at-sweet-briar/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/07/15/in-less-than-two-weeks-almost-300-students-enrolling-at-sweet-briar/)
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Mr. Ypsi on July 19, 2015, 01:05:44 am
Incredible news!  I thought they were dead for sure.  I would still put the realistic odds of 5-year survival at no more than 50-50, but I have (occasionally ::)) been wrong.  They did pick a good time for distress: with the dire prospects for long term employment, they might have been dead-in-the-water for getting decent faculty, but there are huge numbers of good teachers in many disciplines out there - the exception might be STEM faculty, but that doesn't seem to be their emphasis.  Good luck to Sweet Briar.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Ron Boerger on July 21, 2015, 09:42:11 am
About 300  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/07/15/in-less-than-two-weeks-almost-300-students-enrolling-at-sweet-briar/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/07/15/in-less-than-two-weeks-almost-300-students-enrolling-at-sweet-briar/)

But only a dozen new students (at the time of the article); I'd imagine a majority of the rest are upper-class students within a year of graduation.   It will be interesting to see how many more incoming first-years they get.  Without a substantial influx of those they will need a serious incoming cohort next year to offset the loss of those graduating.
Title: Re: Sweet Briar College to Close
Post by: Gray Fox on December 24, 2015, 04:06:50 pm
Talked to an alumna today in Dallas.  Things are looking up, but details of the settlement can't be disclosed.

  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sweet-briar-college-reopens_55db3f08e4b0a40aa3ab78c9 



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