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Hampshire College is facing intensifying opposition to its recent announcement that it will not admit a full freshman class for the fall, and it is looking for possible partnerships or mergers. Critics say that the college hasn't given enough consideration to raising money to remain independent, and that mergers could destroy the college's culture.

On Monday, in advance of announcing layoffs, the college issued statements from its board that expressed sympathy for the concerns being raised, although the statements did not suggest a change in approach.

A statement expressed strong support for President Miriam E. Nelson. But the statement went on to say, "The board acknowledges again the depth and validity of concern within the community for Hampshire’s future, and the many questions that have arisen about options for sustaining the college. We recognize that this has been a very difficult time … Any path forward, of financial necessity, will involve significant restructuring of the college. But in all cases we are guided by the principles we share as a community, including our commitment to students, faculty, staff and alums and our integral values of inclusion, equity and justice. As important, we will uphold Hampshire’s mission: 'to foster a lifelong passion for learning, inquiry and ethical citizenship that inspires students to contribute to knowledge, justice and positive change in the world and, by doing so, to transform higher education.'"