In a time when scientists and global leaders are teaching and bringing awareness to climate change and the importance of sustainability, one of the most highly regarded colleges for sustainability, Green Mountain College, is shuttering its doors. It is a travesty for students of the eco-minded community along with alumni, staff, professors and the businesses in Poultney. It is a loss to Vermont and the country that there will be no new GMC students to positively impact the environment and climate change.
Moreover, as disappointed as we are that the school is abruptly closing after 185 years, we are equally disappointed as to how the shutdown was handled by those responsible. Foremost, there was no transparency around the dire financial situation. The people who are most affected by GMC's status were not provided the opportunity to respond with support before the decision. Instead, the students, parents, alumni and all their vast networks were not given the opportunity to help save GMC. Transparent and public announcements should have been made to garner funding before a final decision. From Facebook pages, alumni had no idea that the school's existence was threatened and the alumni state they were willing to help. Now, a decision has been made without the opportunity to be part of the solution.
An open announcement for those who were willing to help and reach out to their contacts could have made a world of difference. And, like Sweet Briar College in Virginia, perhaps GMC could have been saved.