Mills Inside & Out

Mills College
Presidential Communication
June 28, 2019

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

Dear all,

This week, the Golden State Warriors were at Mills! NBA star Shaun Livingston and Joanna Williams, his wife (an avid reader; she traded book recommendations with VP for Strategic Partnerships Renée Jadushlever), visited with some potential investors to see the campus, share ideas about economic development in Oakland, and hear from Provost and Dean of the Faculty Chinyere Oparah about our academic programs. We're excited about this and other campus optimization opportunities, and I'm in conversation with faculty, staff, and students over the summer as we consider potential partners for Mills.

Last week, our HR team sent a campus-wide announcement about the four full-day Fridays off that Mills is implementing next month. That makes today the last Friday that all of us will be on campus until August 2 (!). Inside and Out is going to take those Fridays off too. While I love writing to you, other tasks beckon, and I'm going to seize this opportunity to attend to those instead. Also this summer, College officers are planning a series of community events. Be on the lookout for more details soon!

Before I write again in August, I have a request. I need you to apply your creative and collaborative skills to help Mills raise its visibility through this summer’s Mills’ Visibility Project (MVP). We're at a juncture of opportunity and crisis in higher education. Ideas from you, the people who know Mills best, who most want Mills and our students to succeed, are part of the answer.

Making sure people learn about the great stories being created at Mills, a few of which I share with you every week in this message, is a big challenge in this era of media saturation and over-stimulation. Yet greater visibility is essential to realizing every one of the four goals of the bridge strategic plan that is now close to final. The MillsNext bridge plan sets out four strategies: building inclusive and equitable academic programs, developing mission-aligned partnerships, diversifying the uses of the campus, and leveraging technology and data.

The MVP will help us get the word out to make sure those strategies succeed. Here’s how it will work:

  • Find one or more Mills colleagues outside of your department.
  • Think together about how we can share stories and deepen Mills' connections to the diverse communities, and fast-moving economies, around us.
  • Send your ideas—which must have more than one author/owner, and must be expressed in less than 100 words—to by July 29.

I'll share the results of the MVP with my first message of August, and will hold a random drawing to identify one submission so I can take its authors/owners to lunch at Grand Lake Kitchen, which just opened a new Dimond district location—but one of many new restaurants opening in Oakland. Please contact Carrie Hall if you have any questions about MVP submissions.

Finally, a shout-out to our colleagues in the Admissions Office who volunteered at the Alameda County Community Food Bank this week, continuing a tradition they started a few years ago. The food bank is a partner to the Mills Pantry, a new venture designed to address the food insecurity that affects many in our community. Our staff volunteer efforts reflect the kind of community engagement—and visibility!—that will enable Mills, and our neighbors in Alameda County, to thrive.

All best,