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Mills: Inside and Out
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Mills: Inside and Out

Mills College
Presidential Communication
October 20, 2017

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

Dear all,

The thirty-two members of the Mills College Board of Trustees, on campus this week for their first board meeting of the academic year, were joined yesterday by UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ to celebrate the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU signals our commitment to creative, mission-driven collaboration, its signing appeared in The Daily Californian and on local TV newsDavid Silver, the City of Oakland's Director of Education and Kristin Soares, President of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) also attended, as did regents and deans.
The UC Berkeley-Mills task force has been meeting regularly for more than a year to consider how we might transform a friendly relationship between neighbors into a driver of innovation and student success. Members of the task force include:
From UC Berkeley:
  • Catherine Koshland, Vice Chancellor, Undergraduate Education & co-chair of the task force
  • Jessica Bauer, Assistant Director of Summer Sessions
  • Cynthia Bumgarner, Assistant Vice Chancellor & Chief of Staff
  • Khira Grisavage, Associate Chancellor & Chief of Staff to the Chancellor
  • Leslie Hanson, Project Manager
  • Nina Robinson, Former Associate President, UC Office of the President
  • Rick Russo, Dean & Associate Vice Chancellor, Undergraduate Education
  • Anthony Yuen, Project Manager
From Mills College:
  • Margaret Hunter, Associate Vice Provost for Student Success & co-chair of the task force
  • Renee Jadushlever, Chief of Staff & Vice President for Communications & External Relations
  • Chinyere Oparah, Provost & Dean of the Faculty
  • Marilyn Schuster, Trustee & Former Provost, Smith College
The MOU formalizes our intent to "to create a long-term collaborative relationship that utilizes the best offerings of each institution to the benefit of their communities." It affirms a commitment to:
  • enhancing the education of our students by supporting their participation in a diverse array of academic programs offered on our campuses;
  • promoting program development and cost-sharing across academic and administrative areas in support of our individual and shared priorities;
  • serving as thought partners in innovative collaboration between a liberal arts institution and a large, public research university; and
  • providing a model of effective partnership that could be replicated by other UC campuses and neighboring liberal arts colleges.

I'm grateful for the vision and hard work of the members of the joint task force and the many others who have contributed to this effort. UC Berkeley's interest in Mills, and in a more collaborative regional system of public and private higher education, can help Mills better serve our students and set an example for other independent colleges. 

Collaboration across higher education was also happening on a national level this week. Mills joined nearly 800 colleges and universities in signing a letter to House and Senate leaders urging legislative action to protect Dreamers, the undocumented students whose status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is in peril. We continue to consider ways to engage and support Mills' undocumented students as our colleagues across the country rally political and popular support.

Beth Signature



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Last Updated: 10/20/17