Dear UMassD Community,
I write to share important news about our colleagues at Mount Ida College. On April 6, the UMass Board of Trustees voted to allow UMass Amherst to acquire the Mount Ida property. Mount Ida will cease operations after the spring 2018 semester, which is understandably a very difficult situation for their 1,500 students, and hundreds of faculty and staff.
The UMass system, in conjunction with UMass Dartmouth, has stepped forward to provide an attractive alternative for the Mount Ida students as they face a difficult time. We have invited these students to establish a warm new home right here with us. This is an opportunity for each of us to embrace our social responsibility to positively affect the lives of others.
On Monday, April 9, UMass Dartmouth faculty, staff, and students will travel to Mount Ida College in Newton Centre to meet with students and review their academic options, their financial aid packages, their housing and dining choices, and introduce life at UMassD. We expect that we will also be bringing them to our campus very soon to get a sense of who we are.
This is a difficult and challenging time for all members of the Mount Ida community. Our own senior leaders have assured me that we can and will do everything to make this a positive experience for these potential new members of our community. I have seen the commitment of the UMass Dartmouth faculty and staff to provide an outstanding educational experience, and their concern for the success of each individual. I have witnessed the compassion and passion of UMass Dartmouth students in support of one another.
We now have an opportunity to come together to support and encourage the Mount Ida students. I know I can count on every one of you to provide a warm welcome to Mount Ida’s students as they join our campus community because you have a track record of putting your sense of humanity and moral obligation into action when a community needs you. The Good Samaritan did not ask, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” the Good Samaritan reversed the question, “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”
There are challenges for us to make this a smooth process, yet I believe we can demonstrate the flexibility and creativity that will enable these students to successfully transition to UMass Dartmouth. At the same time, we know that the giver is usually the greater beneficiary of the giving. I believe that our new students will bring the best of Mount Ida with them and strengthen our Corsair community in countless ways.
Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.