CBB Cuts Back

Cost, enrollment issues doom study-abroad program

Edited by H. Jay Burns and Doug Hubley

After a five-year run, a Colby-Bates-Bowdoin study-abroad program winds up this fall.

With centers in London, Quito, and CapeTown, the CBB Off-Campus Study Program was an academic success but a financial failure,primarily due to unpredictable enrollments.(Bates operated the consortium’s Quitocenter, the subject of a 2003 magazine storyposted online at www.bates.edu/x31076.xml.)

The three schools still offer bountiful study-abroad opportunities through non-CBB programs as well as school-specific programs.Bates, for example, sponsors its Fall Semester Abroad Program in various countries.

“Programs like FSA give us the flexibility to connect costs to enrollment and connect faculty expertise to a location,” says Bates Dean of the Faculty Jill Reich.

And there is a happy legacy of the defunct program: increasingly easy CBB collaboration, Reich says.

Joint CBB efforts include a thriving libraryconsortium; a grant-supported inquiryinto teaching and learning; a language technology project; a Bates-hosted conference on entrepreneurship and the liberal arts; andrecent diversity conferences. Plus, the CBB deans (and presidents) meet periodically by videoconference.