Sweet Briar College’s response to June 20 legal settlement

The Sweet Briar College Board of Directors is pleased the College’s financial situation has dramatically changed to avoid closing on Aug. 25, 2015, as previously announced. The College has been working with the Office of the Attorney General, Saving Sweet Briar, County Attorney Ellen Bowyer, and counsel for faculty members and students for weeks on a resolution.

Saving Sweet Briar reports it has received current year pledges of $12 million with additional pledges in hand for subsequent years nearly equal to the initial amount. The attorney general has indicated he will release $16 million from the restricted endowment for the continued operation of Sweet Briar College. As a result of these two important developments, the Board of Directors decided that new leadership should be allowed the opportunity to operate the College for another year with the hope it will be able to find long-term solutions for ongoing sustainability.

Additionally, the Board is pleased that its goals of meeting obligations to creditors, providing assistance to students and offering severance to faculty and staff have been achieved through this agreement. As noted in the Memorandum of Understanding released by the attorney general, faculty and staff of the College will be eligible to receive certain negotiated severance benefits and may be offered employment by the College following the forthcoming change in leadership.

While the current members of the Board will be stepping down as part of this settlement, all of the directors offer their best wishes to the College’s new leadership and the assurance of any support that may be requested.

The Board thanks the attorney general for his leadership in achieving a resolution and the release of funds that allow the College to continue operations.