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Private college that appeased anti-Israel protesters faces major enrollment decline — and layoffs could be coming

A private liberal arts college in Boston blames anti-Israel protests for a huge drop in freshman enrollment.

When anti-Israel protests erupted at Emerson College this spring, university officials went out of their way to defend student protesters, who were jailed for violating the law.

“…We will need to eliminate some vacant and filled staff positions and possibly reduce faculty positions.”

University Not only is it praised He praised the “tremendous courage” of student protesters but promised that there would be no Emerson-related disciplinary action against student protesters, urged the district attorney not to pursue criminal charges against Emerson student protesters, provided Emerson officials to pay bail for arrested students, and offered student housing to protesters so they could stay in town for their trials.

Now, school administrators are planning budget cuts and staff reductions.

“The number of first-year students scheduled to enroll for the fall 2024 semester is significantly lower than initially anticipated.” Said Emerson College President Jay Barnhart said in a letter this week.

Bernhard Said The decline in enrollment will require “immediate spending cuts,” which could include laying off faculty members.

“We will limit staff and faculty recruitment next year and carefully review our existing programs and offerings to make savings for the future,” he said. “Finally, we may need to reduce some vacant and filled staff positions and some faculty positions as well.”

Barnhart acknowledged that anti-Israel protests were a factor in the decline in enrollment.

He explained:

We believe this decline is due to multiple factors, including a national trend of declining enrollment (away from small private institutions), delays in paying application fees due to the implementation of the new FAFSA, student protests targeting our admissions events and campus tours, and negative publicity and social media following the demonstrations and arrests.

Beyond Barnhart College acknowledged that enrollment was down “significantly,” but it’s not clear how bad the numbers are. The college’s most recent data showed 1,002 new students for the fall 2022 semester.

Emerson College Tuition The cost is $50,000 per year.

At least one Emerson College official has already argued that the university’s announcement is actually an attempt to silence pro-Palestinian voices.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” said Ilona Yosefov, a faculty member and educational technologist with Emerson College’s Palestine for Justice. Said The Boston Globe.

“It feels like they’re exploiting the situation to get what they want. It feels like a way to silence dissent and intimidate people into submission,” she added. [Bernhardt is] They’re trying to signal to everyone to behave when autumn comes.”

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