GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Bennett College Board of Trustees has charged an independent committee of national and state leaders to develop plans that advance a sustainable, successful future for Bennett College. The Bennett Re-Engineering Committee (BRC) is composed of 19 members who will work with the College leadership to chart a path forward that builds on Bennett’s rich and unique history.
The BRC will be co-chaired by Yvonne Johnson, executive director of the nonprofit One Step Further and former Greensboro mayor, and Tom Ross, president of The Volcker Alliance and president emeritus of the University of North Carolina System. Other committee members include experts from education, business, strategy, diversity and public health.
“As an alumna of Bennett College, I have a deep appreciation for the role this Institution plays in shaping the lives of young women,” said Johnson. “I am honored to co-chair this committee of esteemed and capable leaders who have answered the call to reposition Bennett for both immediate and long-term success.”
The BRC will identify opportunities for Bennett to develop high-demand academic programs, provide exceptional student services and support, improve operational efficiencies and strengthen its overall governance, administration and financial sustainability. The Committee’s first meeting will be held April 18, and its work will continue over the course of the summer.
The BRC convenes at a critical juncture in Bennett College’s history. In December 2018, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) voted to remove Bennett from membership, citing concerns over its financial stability. Bennett appealed the decision, and in a national demonstration of overwhelming support for the College, more than 14,000 donors contributed $9.5 million in over two months. When SACSCOC denied Bennett’s appeal, the Institution filed a lawsuit and remains accredited by SACSCOC during the legal process. Bennett College is also seeking accreditation from a second body, the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).
“This is a pivotal time in Bennett’s history and in higher education. The BRC has the cross-sector perspectives and skills needed to put Bennett on a sustainable trajectory and to satisfy accreditation concerns,” said Ross. “We are committed to generating new ideas and welcome the input of all Bennett College stakeholders.”
As part of the BRC’s work, it is conducting a survey of all key stakeholders. That survey and more information about the BRC can be found at BennettBRC.com.