Mills Inside & Out

Mills College
Presidential Communication
September 13, 2019

TO: Mills College Faculty and Staff
FROM: Beth Hillman
SUBJECT: Mills: Inside and Out

Dear all,

Yesterday morning, the WSCUC accreditation team that has been studying Mills for the past several months ended its visit to campus with a resounding vote of support. During their exit report in the Mills Hall living room, they commended the dedication and insight of the Mills faculty, the innovative and collaborative work of our staff, Mills' vision of inclusive excellence, the bold steps we're taking to build a new economic model, and our commitment to anchoring the communities around us. While we won't receive an official report until later this fall, and a final decision about reaccreditation won't take place until next spring, we already know that our preparation for their site visit, and our investment in the success of our students, has paid off. Every department and division at Mills contributed to the positive outcome of the WSCUC visit, and we can all be proud of the anticipated results. Thank you!

The beautiful, brand new Mills Performing Arts website—which just launched thanks to the hard work and vision of our marketing and performing arts teams, including Angelique Felgentreff, Jamiellin Kelsey, Genevieve Neumuth, Judy Silva, and Alex Zendzian—is a great example of how Mills is leveraging its many assets. Please click through and spend some time browsing to see how we're raising visibility through collaboration and a more robust web presence. This site will increase the capacity of Mills' performing arts facilities to enhance community and cultural equity while we continue to provide world-class performance spaces for Mills programs in music, dance, theater, and the public humanities.

Last weekend, Mills celebrated the planet and its people both. Our sustainability team led a creek restoration effort on Post Road in support of this month's Battle for the Bay/Oakland Creek to Bay Day, and our Division of Student Life and the Mills College Children's School turned out in force for Oakland Pride. Everyone who participated was living what Jonathan Franzen wrote about in this week's New Yorker magazine in an article about the increasingly steep challenge of fighting the devastating consequences of climate change: “Keep doing the right thing for the planet, yes, but also keep trying to save what you love specifically—a community, an institution, a wild place, a species that’s in trouble—and take heart in your small successes. Any good thing you do now is arguably a hedge against the hotter future, but the really meaningful thing is that it’s good today. As long as you have something to love, you have something to hope for.”

All best,