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Boston liberal arts college blames low enrollment, possible staff cuts on anti-Israel protests
June 20 2024, 08:00

A Boston liberal arts college admitted that the recent anti-Israel protests on campus have contributed to low enrollment for the upcoming academic year which will necessitate possible staffing cuts.

In an internal message this week, Emerson College president Jay Bernhardt pointed to "multiple factors" prompting a "significant" shortage in the incoming freshman class, including the protests and the press generated by them.

"We want to share with our community that the size of our incoming first-year class for Fall 2024 is significantly below what we had hoped," Bernhardt’s statement declared this week.


"We attribute this reduction to multiple factors, including national enrollment trends away from smaller private institutions, an enrollment deposit delay in response to the new FAFSA rollout, student protests targeting our yield events and campus tours, and negative press and social media generated from the demonstrations and arrests."

Bernhardt disclosed that the school would be looking to implement layoffs and budget cuts to account for the lost revenue. Tuition for the 2024-25 school year is listed at $55,200, and room and board costs are more than $20,000.

"We will limit our staff and faculty searches next year and carefully review existing programs and offerings for future savings," the college said. "Finally, we will need to eliminate some staff positions, both vacant and filled, and potentially reduce some faculty positions."

Emerson College saw a wave of anti-Israel protests on campus this spring that resulted in clashes with Boston police and arrests. 


During one demonstration in April, more than 100 protesters were arrested for not vacating their encampments that were in public access areas on campus.

In the struggle to remove agitators, multiple officers suffered minor injuries, a police spokesperson told Fox News Digital. 

At the time, Bernhardt released a statement about the demonstration that led to the arrests, stating, "Emerson College recognizes and respects the civic activism and passion that sparked the protest in Boylston Place Alley in support of Palestine while also holding and communicating concerns related to the numerous ordinance violations caused by their encampment. We also understand that clearing the encampment has significantly and adversely impacted our community."

Emerson’s Student Government Association slammed the president’s conduct in regard to these protests. 

As a local NBC affiliate reported, Emerson College SGA President Nandan Nair stated, "He has routinely sent out insensitive emails, that have not only portrayed the facts accurately but also, failed to express empathy and failed to support the students that have been traumatized and affected by these events."

Emerson did not immediately reply to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.