Welcome to the Mills College Club of New York!!
On Saturday, April 16, 2022, the leadership of the Mills College Club of New York had lunch with President Beth Hillman, who answered many questions and addressed concerns that we, as alumnae, had. The following are some of the topics that were covered.
Faculty: Northeastern University (NU) will offer contracts to all tenured and tenure-tracked professors, so their positions are guaranteed. Full-time adjuncts will also have their contracts renewed. Part-time adjuncts who teach one course, for example, will probably be able to keep their jobs as there will be many more courses offered and NU will need a lot of faculty.
Enrollment: Over the past 5-10 years, the number of applicants had dropped and Mills was accepting about 86%, but the yield was still very low. In surveys of high school students, only 1%-2% of the girls said they were interested in attending a women’s college.
Admissions: For 2021/2022, Mills had 38 first-year and 47 transfer students enrolled.
NU has over 75,000 applicants and they accept about 18%.
500 NU students are expected to come to the Mills campus in September 2022. One student, the daughter of an NU trustee, loved the small campus and hopes to stay for 4 years.
Courses: Starting in Fall 2022, students will be following the NU course catalog, but Mills is working with NU to try to fit current Mills courses and majors into their offerings. For example, the MFA in book arts can be listed in the NU graduate School of Industrial Arts as a major in book arts. The U. of Wisconsin has a major in Book Arts, and it also lists it under the School of Industrial Arts. One of the two professors in Book Arts will be going there, and the two students currently working with her will transfer to continue studying with her.
Financials: The push to admit first-generation college students, LGBTQ and students of color drew down the endowments because more than 85% of the student body needed nearly full scholarships. The college cannot use endowments that are restricted for other purposes, so it had to borrow for operating expenses. A study of earnings of Mills graduates projected out 10 years shows that they do not make that much because they go into the services, like social work, nonprofits or government. Any earnings they make go back to their own families; they have little left for Mills. So alumnae contributions have dropped.
Campus: All the buildings’ names will be retained. The art gallery and its collection will be kept and built on. NU is investing about $8 million to repair and renovate buildings this summer.
AAMC: The AAMC Board of Governors is divided on the Mills/NU merger. It is not clear at this time how the association will go forward. The college and the AAMC are still discussing what their relationship will be once Mills becomes part of NU. Viji finishes as president of the AAMC this June. There is no word yet on who will succeed her.
Beth said that the campus has become a sanctuary for many students, and she feels that Mills needs to broaden its focus and help prepare students for the outside world. College should help students with critical thinking and not coddle them. Bringing a diverse group of students from NU will be beneficial. Many smaller colleges are looking at the Mills’s merger because they want to find academic partners to survive the new trend in higher education.
We urged Beth to release some information to refute many of the accusations made by Matthew Hendricks, an economic professor at the University of Tulsa. The groups opposing the merger are using his financial analysis of Mills to disparage the decisions made by the college. He is basing his numbers only on the publicly available figures that do not show the complicated and unique challenges that Mills is facing. Beth said everyone had counseled the college not to respond because responding strengthens the opposition. But alumnae are being swayed by Hendricks’ articles and an explanation from the college would help correct misinformation.
Finally, if the merger with Northeastern U does not go through, the college will be liquidated. This is the information that our friends must understand. The scenario is Mills College at NU or NOTHING.
Mills website about the merger: https://www.mills.edu/merger/merger-facts/merger-background.php
AAMC website: https://www.aamc-mills.org/news-updates
Share us on Facebook
Go to our Facebook page
The Mills College Club has been in existence since 1919 and we are proud to continue its mission to foster old and create new bonds among Mills College alumnae who live in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We gather for fellowship with each other; raise money for the College (specifically for the Tri-State Scholarship Fund); help with the College's admissions efforts and publicize events related to Mills alumnae and faculty members.
Anyone living in Connecticut, New Jersey, or New York who attended Mills for a semester or more is included in the mailing list for the MCCNY.
Former MCCNY members who have moved away from this area are also welcome as members, as are faculty and staff of the College. These days, except for the mailed invitations to the fall fund-raising event, we keep in touch via e-mail—so it is important for us to know how to reach you this way. Board meetings are held periodically to plan our events; all are welcome at these meetings.
Although we have had to cancel all our activities since early 2020, we are looking ahead to a safer environment in the near future when we can once again gather in person and experience the special bond we alumnae have.
and Margot Mabie, Co-chairs