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June 22, 2015

Deal to Keep Private Va. College Open at Least 1 More Year

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced a settlement Saturday to avert the planned closure of Sweet Briar College for at least another academic year, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The New York Times report.

Pending court approval, the deal will see the small, private women's college elect a new president and revamp its board, and it calls for an alumni group to donate $12 million toward the institution's continuing operations. A judge in Amherst County, Va., whose county attorney sued to keep the 114-year-old college open, is scheduled to consider the settlement at a hearing Monday.

Sweet Briar officials announced plans in March to shutter the 114-year-old liberal-arts college this summer, saying it faced "insurmountable financial challenges." The move triggered protests by students, faculty, and alumni as well as legal action. The Virginia Supreme Court had issued an injunction earlier this month temporarily blocking the closure.