After four years on the job as president of Mills College, Alecia DeCoudreaux has announced she will be stepping down from her position in June 2016.
In an email memorandum sent to the Mills community on Apr. 30, DeCoudreaux wrote she would be allowing her five year contract to expire. While the College’s Board of Trustees asked her to extend her contract, DeCoudreaux declined, she said in the memorandum.
“It will not be easy to leave a place as magical as Mills,” DeCoudreaux said.
DeCoudreaux stated in the email that the College’s endowment is strong, the Strategic Plan the administration has been developing is moving forward, and enrollment has remained at a steady level since her arrival in 2011.
In a memorandum sent the same day as DeCoudreaux’s, Kathleen Burke, chair of the Board of Trustees, said the Board had hoped the president would continue on after her contract ended. However, she said they respected DeCoudreaux’s decision to leave.
Burke said the Board supported DeCoudreaux’s work in maintaining “best financial practices,” along with respecting her work in moving the College’s Strategic Plan forward and finding alternative sources of revenue.
“Her talents and wisdom have served the College well, and the board is immensely grateful to President DeCoudreaux for her leadership,” Burke said in the email.
Students and alumnae have reacted to DeCoudreaux’s news in a variety of ways.
Sophomore Emma Ishii stated that due to campus tension between the President and the community, DeCoudreaux’s departure might be a good thing.
“I think that this is an opportunity actually to find someone who will fit Mills better and have a working more communicative relationship with faculty,” Ishii said.
Former associate dean of students Kennedy Golden stated that tension between campus administration and faculty is not a new issue.
“All changes can provide opportunities,” Golden said. “Here’s to this being good for Pres DeCoudreaux and Mills.”