BOSTON — State higher education officials approved a new set of regulations Friday that will govern how they screen colleges and universities for financial risks and potential closures.
Education Secretary James Peyser said the Board of Higher Education’s vote marked a “watershed moment.”
“On the one hand, it’s an incremental shift,” Peyser said. “On the other hand, it’s really a major change in the nature of our relationship as a board and as a state in terms of our responsibility for ensuring the health of our higher education system writ large, not just the public system.”
The sudden closure of Mount Ida College in 2018 drew new attention to the challenges faced by small, private colleges grappling with enrollment declines and other demographic trends, and sparked calls to protect current and prospective students from being blindsided by a closure.
Board of Higher Education Chairman Chris Gabrieli said Friday’s vote was the latest step in a “process to go from, frankly, surprise, shock and disappointment in an event to some approach that we think is the appropriate approach.”
Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law in November requiring colleges and…
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