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For most colleges and universities, closure is a last resort. But as enrollment and financial pressures intensify, more institutions may come to recognize that closing is inevitable. However, even if this time comes, leaders still face important and difficult choices about when and how to do it; choices that can make a real difference to students, staff and other stakeholders. So it is incumbent on them to understand and consider what is involved, though fortunately, few have been through the process.

In this webcast, two presidents, a board chair and a lawyer -- all with direct experience in college closures -- will share their insights in a brief presentation and a moderated panel discussion led by Inside Higher Ed Editor Doug Lederman on how to plan thoughtfully for closure in ways that:

  • Prioritize the needs of students
  • Adhere to all relevant laws and regulations
  • Communicate clearly with the many key constituents
  • Recognize the emotional toll of the process

This webcast was made possible in part by the support of the Transformational Partnerships Fund. The Transformational Partnerships Fund has requested that registration information not be shared with them (or any other party) and will only be used by Inside Higher Ed to host the webcast. During the webcast, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions on an anonymous basis.

Can't attend the webcast? You should still register -- all registrants, including attendees and absentees -- will receive a recording of the webcast and a copy of the presentation slides.

Monday, March 27 | 2 P.M. ET

If the Time Comes: Closing a College Wisely


Doug Lederman
Co-founder and Editor, Inside Higher Ed

Doug Lederman helps lead the news organization's editorial operations, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features with Scott Jaschik. Doug speaks widely about higher education, including on C-Span and National Public Radio and at meetings and on campuses around the country, and his work has appeared in The New York Times and USA Today, among other publications. Doug was managing editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education from 1999 to 2003. Before that, Doug had worked at The Chronicle since 1986 in a variety of roles, first as an athletics reporter and editor. He has won three National Awards for Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association, including one in 2009 for a series of Inside Higher Ed articles he co-wrote on college rankings. He began his career as a news clerk at The New York Times. He grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and graduated in 1984 from Princeton University. Doug lives with his wife in Bethesda, Md.

Featured Panelists

Dr. Paula Langteau
President, Presentation College

With over 30 years’ experience in higher education, Dr. Paula Langteau has spent 15 of those years leading small, highly tuition-dependent, public and private institutions. Having earned her doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Langteau specializes in innovative programming and disruptive leadership to help colleges and universities identify critical market niches, establish pioneering partnerships and develop successful rebranding for the 21st century marketplace. Currently, she serves as the President of Presentation College, a small, Catholic college in South Dakota which just announced in January its plans to cease educational operations this summer, after first partnering with and then transitioning its nationally 4th-ranked (, 2021) Online LNP-to-BSN nursing program to a fellow Catholic institution, St. Ambrose University.

Jim Newberry
Chair of the Higher Education Team at Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

Jim Newberry is a member of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, where he chairs the firm’s Higher Education Team. He formerly served as Mayor of Lexington, Ky., and as Vice President & General Counsel at Georgetown College, Georgetown, Ky. At Georgetown, Jim was responsible for legal affairs and the development office functions, including alumni affairs. He has also served as a member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees. He represents institutions of higher education on federal compliance issues and other matters. Jim has worked with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the United States Chamber of Commerce. He holds his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Kentucky.

Robert V. Antonucci
President Emeritus, Fitchburg State University

Robert V. Antonucci is president emeritus of Fitchburg State University, which he led from 2003 to 2015. He previously served as Massachusetts Commissioner of Education and as superintendent of schools in Falmouth, Mass. Most recently, he has held interim leadership positions with higher education institutions as they went through the process of closing. Antonucci holds two degrees from Fitchburg State University and a doctorate in education from Boston University.

Margo Winslow
Former Board Chair, Newbury College

Margo Winslow was a member of Newbury College’s Board of Trustees and its chair at the time of the Massachusetts college’s closing in 2019. She has also served as a board member and vice chair of the board at Goucher College, in Maryland. She has also served as a member of the board of the Newton (Mass.) Schools Foundation.