Uphold Principles of Academic Freedom and Preserve the Philosophy and Journalism Departments at Mills College

  • by: Maja Sidzinska
  • recipient: Mills College President and Board of Trustees

Dear Mills College President and Board of Trustees,

It has come to our attention that the Mills College Board of Trustees is scheduled to ratify its Financial Stabilization Plan (FSP) on June 26, 2017. This plan was formulated in response to a declaration of financial emergency by the college. Ratifying the FSP is a mistake for the following reasons.

Many tenured faculty would be terminated; this means that Mills College would dishonor principles of academic freedom as outlined by the AAUP. Academic freedom is necessary to avoid discrimination based on research findings, and tenure is the means by which academic freedom is ensured.

Mills College is NOT in a state of financial exigency as defined by the AAUP. Only a state of financial exigency justifies termination of tenured faculty.

Departments that are cornerstones of a liberal arts education would be cut with little or no faculty consultation. These departments include Philosophy and Journalism. These cuts would compromise the reputation of the college, further undermining efforts to secure grants, donations, and enrollments.

Faculty have proposed alternatives that would result in the same budgetary savings, while preserving tenure, and thus securing the reputation of Mills College, its academic rigor, and helping it to avoid censure by the AAUP.

We urge you NOT to ratify the FSP. Instead, please adopt an alternative budgetary plan as proposed by faculty.


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