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April 11, 2018

The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education is requesting more information about Mount Ida College's plan to shut down at the end of the semester and transfer its 74-acre campus in Newton to the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

In a letter sent to Mount Ida President Barry Brown, the board demands to see a closure plan designed to assure students can complete their degrees and says it wants to meet with Brown next week.

In February, the school announced it was considering a merger with nearby Lasell College and the board told both schools any deal would need its approval.

Those merger talks fell through, and since then Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago said Mount Ida has kept the board in the dark .

"Our legal counsel staff had called Mount Ida and said, 'Where are we with information?' We asked about Mount Ida and Lasell. We still have not received anything from them," Santiago said in an interview.

Santiago added that the board is disappointed it has not received any information about Mount Ida's new plan.

"Our interest is really the students and assuring that there is an orderly transition of those students to other educational opportunities," Santiago said.

Santiago said the board says it doesn't want students to be pressured into where they transfer.

Under a new deal announced last week, UMass Dartmouth is offering admission to Mount Ida's 1,500 students.

Related: UMass Acquires Mount Ida College

Earlier: Small Private Colleges Struggle To Stay Alive

Greater Boston: UMass Boston Students React To UMass Amherst's New Campus

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