The board of Wilson College has been expected to vote Saturday on whether to accept a controversial plan to admit men to the residential undergraduate program, but announced instead that the board was delaying a decision until January. An announcement from the board said that it needed more time to consider the options. The college has only about 300 women in the residential program, and although men are admitted to other programs, Wilson's identity has been as a women's institution. A panel recommended a number of steps, such as a tuition cut, along with coeducation, to attract more students. Barbara K. Mistick, the president of the college, has warned that Wilson's finances are precarious and that few high school seniors these days seek out a women's college, making it difficult to attract the size of student body that would sustain the institution. In an interview after Saturday's announcement, she said that she backs the coeducation plan and believed enrollment could double within five or six years if men are admitted.
Students and alumnae, however, have criticized the coeducation plan. They have questioned whether the college will attract men in large numbers and have said that they fear losing Wilson's mission as an institution that nurtures young women.