A Note of Clarification from President Khoury and VPF Falcon
August 3, 2020 7:00 p.m.
There has been a lot of information shared today, but we think some of the details have been lost in the conversation. The announcement today does not mean that we are staying remote longer than we have to. We planned to be remote this year to deal with the pandemic. Once we can safely resume in-person learning (which we hope happens as soon as possible) we will again meet in classrooms and labs and have a rich variety of educational experiences. The announcement today also doesn’t mean that Unity College is closing. As explained in the FAQs, the college is on a sound financial footing. What the announcement today actually means is that as the needs of our students change, we are changing with them, and letting student demand help guide where and how we teach students. This is the central point of my letter. If enough students continue come to 90 Quaker Hill to attend classes and take up residence in our awesome Quaker Hill residence halls and eat in Wyman Commons, then we absolutely would have no reason to want to sell the property. Enough students, in this context, means 650 or more, so we have to reverse declining enrollment trends to succeed in that goal, but we are confident that the Hybrid Learning model gives us a clear path to higher enrollments.
But, as we suggested in this letter today, the great thing about the Hybrid Learning model is that it gives us the freedom to expand the range of locations where powerful learning can occur. The decisions announced today ensure we have the option to realize that freedom if it meets student needs.
The reason we are taking a hard look at all our properties and letting student demand guide our thinking is to ensure that in the future we offer courses in the location best suited to fit the learning experience. Many of those experiences may happen right here on 90 Quaker Hill Road (where we are today). Others may occur at Sky Lodge, or Acadia National Park. The goal will be to ensure that the location of the class supports the learning objectives of the course. For some classes, our building in Portland may be a better choice than 90 Quaker Hill. In-person learning is a key part of our future, and we want to make sure that we continue to provide students with the best experience possible. That’s the promise of the hybrid model, and we are confident it will benefit students.
So, please take a moment to read and share the letters we’ve linked to along with the FAQ. All of that material can be found on our website at https://unity.edu/path-forward/.
Dr. Melik Peter Khoury and Zach Falcon