Planet Princeton

There is a way to save Westminster Choir College

Dear Editor:

Why can’t some kind of jointly operated music school be developed with Princeton University?  Why not a newly contoured school where students are chosen for admission based on their musical abilities, while the degrees they receive come from either Rider University or Princeton University, depending on where the students are matriculating? Westminster Choir College is too wonderful a place just to let it slip down the drain. It is the crown jewel of choral music schools and a crown jewel of our community.

There is at least one precedent for organizing a university institution so that it is shared, and so that the degrees given are granted specifically by the participating institutions.  Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis has it’s own campus in Indianapolis, and is jointly operated by Indiana University and Purdue University. See website for more information.  My husband was once an adjunct professor there teaching classical studies.

The school is led by a chancellor, currently Chancellor Nasser Paydar. With both Indiana University and Purdue operating in Indianapolis, UIPUI was formed in 1968 after then Mayor Richard Lugar called for establishing a single great state university in Indianapolis. From this premise Indiana University and Purdue, each commanding their strengths, established a new, bifurcated institution.

When we were there, degrees granted in the humanities carried the name of Indiana University on diplomas.  Faculty in the humanities received paychecks from Indiana University. Conversely on the science side, diplomas and paychecks bore the name of Purdue. Twenty years ago at least, when we were there, this division of mutual respect, comfortably remained, as IUPUI continued to evolve.

So let’s look at Westminster Choir College with new eyes and a new creative solution that can enhance the choral offerings and prestige of several institutions.

Kip Cherry
Princeton

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3 comments

  • no one is suggesting that it should not be paid for. It, like so many other wonders of the world will disappear. In 50 years, no one will ever remember. Very, very sad that this beauty and integrity will be lost

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