Hampshire College, a tiny private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts, sent layoff notices to its entire IT department on Friday.
The college signed a contract on June 28 with the edtech firm Ellucian, which will manage its IT. Hampshire College’s 10 IT staff will continue to be employed by the institution during the transition period and may be rehired by Ellucian once the company determines which positions are needed, administrators told MassLive.
A Change.org petition to “Save Hampshire College IT” says the decision to outsource IT was made with “no input from staff, faculty, students, parents, or alumnx” and would “cut costs at the expense of quality and community.” The petition has more than 1,000 signatures.
Hampshire College has faced financial challenges in recent years, fending off closure through fundraising efforts. Fewer than 500 students enrolled in fall 2021, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
“With our deep experience and exclusive focus on higher ed, we partner with institutions to ensure their technology plans support their goals and their missions of student success,” Ellucian spokesperson Lindsay Stanley wrote in an email to EdScoop. “When an institution decides to leverage our services it is done to provide more predictability, stability and resilience because of our size, scale and deep expertise in higher education.”