Insights and Observations for Planning

“In the 1960s, the presidents of Amherst, Mount Holyoke and Smith, and the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts, imagined a bold project -- the creation of Hampshire College, an experimental college founded with the assumption of shared resources. Now, we are ready for a second ‘Hampshire moment,’ which takes the consortium to a whole new level of functioning... To move to a higher level of integration, we will have to plan imaginatively and to evaluate candidly the current logistical and policy impediments to greater collaboration. Are there better transportation alternatives? How can we best use distance-learning technology in combination with face-to-face instruction? Can we construct course schedules that better accommodate shared classes?” 
-Open letter to the Five College Community from presidents Marx, Hexter, Creighton and Christ and Chancellor Holub, March 11, 2009

“The strength of higher education consortia resides in interinstitutional program development, technological innovation, information sharing, and institutional diversity. Consortia have the opportunity to provide leadership to the continuing challenges of access to the academy. As catalysts for creative multi-institutional endeavors, consortia have the opportunity to lead the conversations and establish programs across institutions based on best practices. The opportunity for consortia to lead efforts of the academy to enhance access to higher education for all Americans should be urgently and creatively embraced.” 
-“Historical Underpinnings of Access to American Higher Education” in Access to Higher Education Through Consortia, 2007

"As part of the long-standing commitment of the consortium to improving teaching and learning among our member institutions, Five Colleges, Incorporated will seek to establish itself as a laboratory of national prominence for exploring how technology can enhance learning and the creation of new knowledge... We see these two goals -- greater interactivity among the campuses and greater focus on the application of technology to learning -- as reinforcing each other...." 
-Statement of the Five College Board of Directors, June 2000

“To many -- both students and faculty -- the Five College Consortium has begun to break down into one of two things: Five Colleges, Inc., with its offices and conference rooms, budget and stable of programs; or five colleges, with 26,000 students and nearly 2,000 faculty who are free to give or take courses, research, attend events and socialize on each others’ campuses. The idea of the Five College Consortium, consciously promoting the broad educational and cultural objectives of Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst... has dimmed.” 
-External Review of the Five College Consortium, 1999

“What [the Five College Consortium] needs now is a fresh concentration of energy in three domains: the rejuvenation of interest and engagement in the Consortium by the policy levels of the member colleges, including trustees; fresh collegial direction by presidents and deans in setting the broad substantive priorities of the Consortium; and a sharpening of the processes by which the member campuses judge, encourage and winnow the programs and activities of Five Colleges, Inc.” 
-External Review of the Five College Consortium, 1999