Last updated 7/19/2022
July 19, 2022
Dear Bloomfield College Family,
I sincerely hope your summer is going as planned, and that you have had a chance to visit with family and friends or just take a much needed break. Usually on college campuses, this is the time of year to refresh and recharge. It would be an understatement to note that after our last academic year our community needs both.
As promised at the end of the academic year, I want to provide a brief summer update regarding our potential relationship with Montclair State University and other news happening within our campus community.
First, I want to pause to thank those of you who participated in the assessment conference sponsored by the Academic Affairs unit during the early part of June. As you are aware, there were two major areas of concern noted by MSCHE: assessment and financial health. The participation of our faculty and staff in the assessment conference was just the beginning. We will also work jointly on a comprehensive plan to address all of the MSCHE recommendations and engage the community even more as we move into the AY22/23. Thank you again!
Secondly, I write to share some awesome news! You may have read or heard that Governor Murphy has approved a $12.5 million appropriation for Bloomfield College in the state's FY2022-23 budget to support the College while we work toward forging a permanent relationship with Montclair State University. At this time, we have not received specifics on when these funds will be disbursed, but when we do, we will send out a community message informing all as to usage and timelines.
As noted, we are awaiting further guidance from the state of New Jersey but know that the request focused on our operational deficits and honoring commitments we made to our community centered on benefits and pension contributions. Your commitment to our students and the BC community has been at the forefront of our advocacy for these dollars. You have sacrificed and allowed the college to move forward to figure out how we could sustain as an important higher education institution in New Jersey. I cannot even begin to express my appreciation for your willingness to give us the time to work through some of these issues. Thank You again and again!
We are especially grateful for the efforts by the Governor, Assemblyman Ralph R. Caputo, Assemblywoman Britney N. Timberlake, and all our legislative supporters who advocated for Bloomfield in the State legislature in securing these important funds.
Finally, Bloomfield's efforts to craft a strategic relationship with Montclair are proceeding as anticipated. We remain encouraged at the progress we are making in our plans with the University toward an agreement establishing a permanent relationship between our institutions that will continue Bloomfield's mission of educating students so they may realize their dreams of earning a college degree and advancing socioeconomically. Kevin Cavanagh has agreed to take on the role of facilitator between Bloomfield and Montclair to get the final agreement completed as expeditiously as possible while focusing on our goal of maintaining our identity.
As we know more, we will share it with you. There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but I know that together, we will come out on the other side having created a sustainable model through which to continue the Bloomfield College mission.
Stay strong Bloomfield! We are in this together as we continue to write our story!
Marcheta P. Evans, Ph.D.
Important Update from President Evans
March 23, 2022
Dear Bloomfield College Family,
I write today to share with you an important update on Bloomfield College and our pathway moving forward. It is with great pleasure - and no small degree of relief - that the Bloomfield College Board of Trustees has authorized me to finalize and execute an agreement with Montclair State University through which Montclair will provide financial support to Bloomfield College, if needed, to ensure the College can remain open through the 2022-23 academic year as together we work toward our goal of establishing a permanent relationship before the end of the next academic year.
The level of support needed from Montclair may be reduced, thanks to a $5 million allocation in Governor Phil Murphy’s detailed state budget proposal, released earlier today. That funding will help ensure Bloomfield will remain open and allow time to develop the details of a permanent relationship.
Bloomfield and Montclair envision a future relationship that would support Bloomfield's mission and ensure that the Bloomfield legacy and name will continue, while building upon the strengths of both institutions and enhancing academic and other opportunities for current and future students at both campuses.
While a number of details about the nature and structure of a long-term agreement between Bloomfield and Montclair need to be worked out, the important message is that, during the 2022-23 academic year, Bloomfield College will conduct classes, engage in NCAA sporting events and all traditional activities, and hold commencement for the next class of Bloomfield graduates in May 2023.
This is a monumental moment for all of us who care deeply about the history and legacy of Bloomfield College and the extraordinary student population we serve.
The Board and Administration have spent the past months engaging with representatives of more than thirty colleges and universities across the country that sought to explore a long-term relationship with Bloomfield. In addition to its close geographic proximity, Montclair's commitment to minority and traditionally underserved student populations, and the breadth of its academic, athletic and arts offerings align with Bloomfield's long held mission, making Montclair a particularly good fit for our community.
A collaboration between two higher education institutions is a complex and lengthy process. The Boards, presidents, administrations, and communities of both institutions must work together, and with various regulators and accreditors, to ensure the process is thorough and proceeds in accordance with applicable law.
Next week, I will host a Town Hall Meeting on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 29. Stay tuned for details.
As we make our way through this process, the College will continue to share significant updates with the Bloomfield community through our usual communications platforms as appropriate.
As you know, we publicly announced in October 2021 that Bloomfield did not have sufficient funds to guarantee the College could remain operational for the 2022-23 academic year. At that same time, the College launched an aggressive fundraising campaign and ramped up its public-facing efforts to identify a potential higher education partner to strengthen its financial position and continue its educational mission. No stone was left unturned.
We are very pleased that, through our leadership team's determined efforts, we were able to establish the terms of an interim agreement with Montclair that will ensure we can remain open for the entirety of the 2022-23 academic year, at a minimum.
As we conclude this academic year and commence the next, we will continue to work hard to ensure that members of the College community are best positioned to advance their educational or professional goals. Our commitment to the Bloomfield College family remains strong.
With great pride and in joyful anticipation, we look forward to celebrating Bloomfield College's 149th Commencement this May and our 150th graduating class in May 2023.
Attached is a press release announcing our plans, or you may learn more on our website.
Marcheta P. Evans, Ph.D.
February 7, 2022
Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,
Since we announced in October that Bloomfield College was seeking major philanthropic donors and potential strategic relationships with like-minded higher education institutions to help us continue our mission, the College has received a tremendous amount of positive attention. We are truly grateful and blessed for the support we have received to date.
While it makes perfect sense that our students, staff and faculty are curious about the status of our quest, there is very limited information we can share at this point. Still, in the spirit of transparency, I feel it is important that you hear from me personally on where things stand at this moment in time.
Bloomfield College officials continue to pursue an agreement with a like-minded institution of higher education to resolve the College's financial crisis in a way that benefits our entire community. Over these past months, we have had discussions with numerous entities. As this process has unfolded, we have identified one potential partner that has made a highly persuasive case. We have decided to focus our energies on this one institution that is best equipped to sustain Bloomfield's mission and to support the success of our students. While progress is being made, discussions are ongoing, and key details must still be addressed.
In the meantime, know that our leadership team is working extremely hard on behalf of our entire College community, and we request your continued patience. This is a complex process requiring the involvement and oversight of numerous regulatory agencies, accreditors, financial institutions, government entities, and of course, both administrations and Boards of Trustees at each institution. We take this responsibility very seriously and anticipate being able to share more information with our community as quickly as we can.
Marcheta P. Evans, Ph.D.
October 19, 2021
To Our Bloomfield College Community,
I want to sincerely thank those faculty, staff and students who were able to join me at the Town Hall today to discuss Bloomfield College’s financial challenges and the active planning taking place to ameliorate the current situation. Of course, I will continue to welcome your thoughts, ideas and concerns.
First, let me reiterate my appreciation for everyone’s hard work, and your unwavering commitment to our students and to the College. The conversation we had today was a difficult one, and I expect we will have a continuing dialogue over the coming months.
For those who were unable to attend the Town Hall, I would like to update you directly. We discussed the enrollment data that we have been sharing for some time that shows that Bloomfield College has been struggling with a decade-long decline in enrollment. The resulting financial challenges have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. And, Bloomfield is not alone. Many small private liberal arts colleges in the Northeast and across the country face similar challenges.
We at Bloomfield College have been unwavering in our work to support underserved student populations seeking access to higher education. This is why we announced to the campus community today that the College is going public with our pursuit of actively seeking major philanthropic donors and potential strategic relationships with like-minded higher education institutions to support the important mission of educating students who have been historically excluded from higher education, so they may realize their dreams of earning a college degree and advancing socioeconomically.
As New Jersey’s only Predominantly Black Institution (PBI), Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Minority Serving Institution (MSI), Bloomfield College is committed to its mission of providing academic excellence in an individually supportive environment to lift up all students attending our College. In particular, Bloomfield College has evolved into a special place that at this point in our history sustains and nurtures Black and brown, and first-generation low-income students. With a median family income of below $32,000, our students are often some of the neediest students in the country and are the first in their families to pursue and earn a college diploma.
By publicly announcing our situation, we hope to solicit interest from new potential strategic partners and philanthropic benefactors who are passionate about advancing opportunities for the underserved population we predominantly serve. Bloomfield College provides its students and their families with the opportunity to achieve social and economic mobility that impacts them and the many generations that follow.
A press release may be found on our website.
We recognize that transparency is very important, and you can be assured that I will have more to share with you. But for now, please know that we appreciate your dedication and your past support. It is our strong desire that, as a close-knit community, we can continue to support one another as we work through this challenging time.
Marcheta P. Evans, Ph.D.