Burlington College Will Shut Down

May 17, 2016

Burlington College announced Monday that it is shutting down its operations, The Burlington Free Press reported. Operations will end May 27. The college has been told that its primary lender will not extend a line of credit and that the college’s accreditor, which placed the college on probation, was not expected to lift the probation. Burlington is a small college focused on the liberal arts and progressive styles of education. Coralee Holm, dean of operations, told the newspaper that the college could not recover from the “crushing weight of the debt” incurred after the college in 2010 purchased 32 acres of lakefront property from the Archdiocese of Burlington.

Some supporters of the college blamed the inability to pay for that purchase on Jane Sanders, president at the time. She resigned in 2011 and has been in the news more recently as the wife of Senator Bernie Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders declined to comment to Inside Higher Ed for a 2014 article on the college’s sinking finances, but told Vermont publications that she left the college with a plan to pay off the debt through increased enrollment. Those increases did not materialize.

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