Earlier today (Oct. 21), members of the Mills administration held the first of two open student forums regarding the curricular changes proposed in President Alecia DeCoudreaux’s Oct. 19 memorandum.
The forum was hosted in the faculty lounge, which was overflowing with students, alumnae, staff and faculty, many of whom had questions regarding certain proposals in the email. In particular, students wanted to get more information about the issue of the proposed cuts to the book art minor and dance major. Dean of Students Chicora Martin, Interim Provost Sharon Washington and Associate Provost Julia Oparah led the panel. President DeCoudreaux attended the meeting but did not participate in the discussion. Also in attendance was ASMC President Rachel Patterson and ASMC Vice President Erin Clark.
According to Washington, these changes and cuts are being proposed to get Mills on track with a “curriculum of the future.” She emphasized the fact that these curriculum alterations are being considered in order to attract more students. The College is looking into what will make the school more competitive in terms of getting more students to attend.
“I have said this and it will be echoed: none of these decisions have been made,” Martin said about the proposed cuts. “None of these are easy decisions.”
While many of the questions centered around the Dance and Book Art departments, students also asked about the proposal to consolidate certain programs, such as Public Policy and foreign languages, the language used in the videos sent out in the President’s memorandum and why most of the programs proposed to be cut are art programs.
Another student mentioned that professors have been saying that if they do not vote for the new proposals, they will face a 12 percent pay cut in their salaries.
Washington confirmed that a pay cut in faculty salaries may be necessary if the proposed changes are not voted on.
Next week on Oct. 28 there will be a second forum held, this time in the Student Union to accommodate more attendees. The Campanil will continue to update the community on any news regarding curricular changes.