Hollins Collaboration FAQ

1. Why are Sweet Briar and Hollins partnering?
We share a commitment to women’s education, many educational values, and many financial and operational challenges. We are therefore well placed to seek shared solutions.

2. Why have business operations and international education been identified as focus areas?
Reducing administrative costs would allow both institutions to focus more resources on educational programs and student success. And both institutions have long aspired to be able to do more in the area of global education; we’re looking at whether joining forces might allow us to do so.

3. What specific functions will be shared?
It’s too soon to say. The Mellon grant is funding research and analysis to help us learn about whether collaboration in these two areas can help both institutions achieve their goals. We can’t know at this point what that research and analysis will show, but we look forward to finding out.

4. Who will be doing this work?
The grant from the Mellon fund will allow us to seek advice from various experts in academic administration, finance, the law, and potentially other fields such as technology. Each external consultant selected will have a strong background in higher education.

5. Why are external experts being involved? Why can’t this be done by our own faculty and staff?
A study of this kind is an intensive and demanding undertaking. At both Sweet Briar and Hollins, key personnel are fully committed to their ongoing and regular duties. Further, “fresh eyes” are sometimes able to see creative possibilities. And on some matters, specific expertise not available on campus is needed.

6. Why are we collaborating with our biggest competitor, Hollins?
While we are traditionally considered “competitors,” the actual overlap in our admissions pool is small. Sweet Briar’s truest admissions competitors are places like James Madison and UVA. By collaborating with Hollins, we are helping to strengthen women’s education in Virginia and beyond, which benefits us all.