Former Ripon College president hired by struggling Hampshire College

Photo: Hampshire College

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) - Hampshire College hires new chief amid push to avoid merger

Hampshire College has hired a new president as the school works to improve its finances and avoid the need to merge with another institution.

The college located in Amherst announced Wednesday that Edward Wingenbach will become Hampshire's eighth president. He recently served as acting president for Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he was also Dean of Faculty and taught politics and government.

Wingenbach says his goal is to help Hampshire "reinvigorate its proud legacy of innovation."

The previous president, Miriam Nelson, quit in April following uproar from alumni after she said the school was considering a merger amid financial uncertainty.

Hampshire is hoping to raise $100 million over five years to remain independent, although its accreditor recently said the school should still consider a merger.

The college of about 1,100 students was founded in the 1960s.