Is the Higher Ed Bubble coming to this New England college?

Laura Krantz of the Boston Globe reports.

Wheelock College report finds financial, faculty woes

Wheelock College faces financial challenges, an upheaval from overburdened faculty, and fallout from an exodus of top staff, according to a new report from a regional accrediting agency obtained by the Globe.

The report from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges evaluates the small Fenway school’s progress under the leadership of president Jackie Jenkins Scott, who is leaving in 2016 after 11 years. Wheelock, which specializes in training teachers and social workers, has increased its enrollment during her tenure, but struggles to attract and retain students, according to the report.

Faculty hiring and salaries have not kept pace with a growing number of academic programs, and professors are overloaded with courses and unable to do research or take sabbaticals, it says. The NEASC report said the college would need at least 15 more instructors to handle current classes offered.

The accrediting agency said the administration lacks fiscal transparency, a concern faculty have raised over the past year in letters to the board of trustees, and says minority and commuter students feel marginalized both in and outside the classroom.

“Increased competition, high student debt loads, a desire to maintain small class sizes, fiscal constraints that have slowed faculty hiring, and balancing revenue generating activities with the core mission of teaching and scholarship are all challenges facing the college today,” the report says.

The evaluation is one of two dozen the agency issues each year.