Lawmakers on Beacon Hill grill Mount Ida official over shutdown

BOSTON (WHDH) — An official from Mount Ida College was questioned at the State House Wednesday about the school’s shutdown and pending sale to UMass Amherst.

“I can tell you I am disgusted, disappointed and ashamed at the way this entire situation is being handled,” said Mount Ida student John Driscoll, who stressed to the Senate committee that he and other students felt the sale of the school to UMass Amherst is unfair and was poorly handled.

Mount Ida’s president and chief financial officer refused to show up for the hearing and the head of the state senate’s committee said she may try to subpoena them. In their stead, lawmakers grilled the chair of Mount Ida’s Board of Trustees about why school officials didn’t tell students about the school’s financial problems.

But Chairwoman Carmin Reiss said the college wasn’t trying to deceive anybody.

“The information on our financial situation was, in fact, publicly available. But we did not draw attention to it,”  Reiss said, adding that until March, they thought the school would be merging with Lasell.

UMass Amherst President Marty Meehan, who also spoke Wednesday, admitted that the deal doesn’t work for everyone but said UMass is doing what it can.

“If UMass had not engaged in the transaction, Mount Ida would be closing and filing for financial bankruptcy papers in federal court today,” Meehan said.

Attorney General Maura Healey has approved the sale of Mount Ida to UMass Amherst but is also investigating top Mount Ida officials for the way the sale was handled.

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