by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
No, Bernie Sanders’ wife doesn’t have much chance of becoming first lady. Still, Blake Neff of the Daily Caller highlights some disturbing information about her performance as leader of a Vermont college.
A college once run by Sen. Bernie Sanders’s wife Jane has announced it’s closing in two weeks, thanks to a crushing debt burden it took on during her presidency.
Jane Sanders served as president of Burlington College in Vermont from 2004 to 2011. When she took over, the tiny school had just a few hundred students and was based out of a small building in Burlington, but Sanders dreamed of much greater things. In 2010, she spearheaded an effort to borrow about $10 million in order to buy a large property being sold off by the Catholic Diocese of Burlington. The new, expansive property would provide the college a much larger campus and would allow it to heavily boost enrollment.
The plan at the time was to transform Burlington College from a tiny school of just a couple hundred students into a bigger regional academic player, with an enrollment of 600 or more.
But the amount of debt was dramatic for such a tiny school, and it ended up backfiring horribly. The college’s enrollment did not rise quickly enough to finance its debt payments, and instead its financial position rapidly deteriorated. In 2011, Sanders resigned as president, and subsequent administrators tried frantically to keep the school afloat. Expenses were slashed, the school dipped into its tiny endowment to meet routine expenses, and the school sold off a huge swath of the property it had so recently purchased.