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Mass. Lawmakers Blast Mount Ida Leaders on College Strategy

July 2, 2018

Legislators in Massachusetts issued a scathing report Thursday questioning the series of decisions that led Mount Ida College to close and be taken over by the University of Massachusetts -- with threats of subpoenas and more scrutiny if the college's former officials don't offer good answers. The report by the Massachusetts Senate's Committee on Post Audit and Oversight blasted the conflicting answers that officials from Mount Ida and Lasell College gave in legislative testimony about failed merger talks between the two institutions last winter, a partnership that was widely perceived as being more beneficial to students and staff members at the college.

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“It was Lasell College that could have saved Mount Ida, but Mount Ida’s Board of Trustees incomprehensibly rejected that opportunity,” the report stated. “We believe Mount Ida’s rejection of Lasell’s offer to take over and operate Mount Ida College is one of the most important examples of the Board and President Brown breaching their fiduciary duties.”

The Boston Herald reported that the head of the legislative panel, Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives, planned to send additional questions to Mount Ida's former leaders, and that if they don't provide satisfactory answers, “we will proceed to the next tools in our tool kit, namely subpoenas and additional hearings.”

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Doug Lederman

Doug Lederman is editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed. He helps lead the news organization's editorial operations, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Doug speaks widely about higher education, including on C-Span and National Public Radio and at meetings and on campuses around the country, and his work has appeared in The New York Times and USA Today, among other publications. Doug was managing editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education from 1999 to 2003. Before that, Doug had worked at The Chronicle since 1986 in a variety of roles, first as an athletics reporter and editor. He has won three National Awards for Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association, including one in 2009 for a series of Inside Higher Ed articles he co-wrote on college rankings. He began his career as a news clerk at The New York Times. He grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and graduated in 1984 from Princeton University. Doug lives with his wife, Kate Scharff, in Bethesda, Md.

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