On March 17, without any warning or prior consultation with stakeholders, President Elizabeth Hillman announced that Mills College would cease to grant degrees by 2023, effectively closing an educational giant that has served the community for 169 years. Matters became more urgent on June 17, when Mills announced plans to merge with Northeastern University, a deal likely to be finalized by next June.
Mills has been at the forefront of social change since 1852, when it became the first women’s college west of the Rockies at a time when educating women was radical in itself. With its loss, California will lose an irreplaceable LGBTQ haven for tomorrow’s leaders.
Mills uniquely serves nearly 60% LGBTQ students, according to a 2020 student survey. This number is unmatched by any college or university in the state (or possibly the country), proving that within Mills exists a unique haven desperately needed in today’s world—where suicide rates for queer teens are double their cis, straight counterparts, and our country is faced with homophobic and transphobic laws on the daily. Its loss would have immediate, devastating effects on the LGBTQ population. Without immediate action, Mills will simply become a piece of history.
To be clear, under the current plan to merge with—or more accurately, be acquired by Northeastern University—Mills is at great risk of losing its fundamental identity as a beacon of diversity and equity in California. Under current plans, Mills students are being asked to transfer, faculty contracts will end in 2023, and there are no plans to preserve the programs that make Mills itself.
We believe that with dedicated leadership, Mills has the ability to remain solvent as a standalone women’s college devoted to its LGBTQ community. We are asking LGBTQ organizations who feel the urgency of this situation to add their name to this letter urging California Attorney General Rob Bonta to investigate the closure of Mills College and its acquisition by Northeastern University. We ask Attorney General Bonta to:
Investigate the financials of Mills College to evaluate its solvency as a standalone institution
Halt the merger with Northeastern University if it is deemed unnecessary
Take all steps to preserve the rich legacy of Mills College and its duty to the LGBTQ community
I stand up for LGBTQ students for generations to come:
FIRE BETH HILLMAN!
Click to sign the petition calling for the termination of employment of Mills College President Beth Hillman.
FIRE THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES!
Click to sign the petition calling for the resignation of President Hillman and the Executive Board of Trustees.
Solidarity with the MFA Collective
Click to sign the petition to support the Mills College MFA Collective and Call for Accountability
Protect the Music Dept
Click to sign the petition to protect the Music Dept. and Center for Contemporary Music
INVESTIGATE MILLS COLLEGE
Stand up for our LGBTQ community
Fire President Beth Hillman
Fire the Board of Trustees
Solidarity with MFA Collective
Protect the Music Dept.
investigate mills college