Debate Magazine

Vermont College Once Led by Bernie Sanders’ Wife to Close Due to Debt

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Feel the Bern…

Jane and Bernie Sanders

Jane and Bernie Sanders

From USA Today: After years of struggling to stave off financial ruin, Burlington College announced Monday that it will close its doors for good May 27.

“It is with a great sense of loss to the educational community that Burlington College’s progressive and unique educational model will no longer be available to students,” the school said in a statement.

And a real estate move by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane, with a $10 million price tag may be to blame, the Burlington Free Press reports. Jane Sanders, who served as the Burlington, Vt., school’s president from 2004 to 2011, pushed to purchase 32 acres of prime lakefront land in 2010 with the hopes that it would pay out in a big way by attracting more students and donors.

It did, though “not at a level that would allow us to manage the financial debt that we had incurred,” Dean of Operations and Advancement Coralee Holm said Monday at a news conference about the “heartbreaking” closure.

Sanders departed not long after the deal was inked, giving no explanation for her resignation but reportedly accepting a $200,000 severance package, according to VPR. And the small school was left to suffocate under the “crushing weight of debt,” Holm said Monday, the Free Press reports.

When asked whether the deal was a mistake, Burlington President Carol Moore said: “We can’t Monday-morning quarterback.” The school’s upcoming closure, which was passed unanimously Friday by its Board of Trustees, comes with casualties.

Holm and Moore, along with Burlington’s faculty and staff of approximately 30, will lose their jobs and receive help from the state’s Department of Labor in securing positions elsewhere, according to the Free Press. And the some 70 enrolled students, meanwhile, will finish their degrees at a neighboring institutions, according to the school’s statement.

“This is a great loss to the higher-ed community,” Moore, who took the helm as president in 2014, said at the news conference.

The college, which was established in 1972, will be sold by its lender, People’s United Bank, to local developer Eric Farrell, who plans to convert it into housing and a park, according to the Free Press.

Members of Burlington’s final graduating class received their diplomas Saturday.

Expect the crush of massive debt if this guy is elected...

Expect the crushing weight of massive debt if this guy is elected…

DCG


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