The Oberlin Review

As COVID-19 Brings Fear, Disruption, Obies Rally to Support Community

Editorial Board

March 13, 2020

 This is an uncertain, difficult, and frightening time. Every member of our community is scrambling to make sense of the necessary yet difficult decisions that have been made by College administrators. This is not easy, and it’s okay to be scared. At a time when many of the members of our community are sharing anxieties — and holding close their friends and family members — the most important thing that we can do is support and take care of one another.  Much like our peer institutions, the College is following protocols and best practices that public health and other government officials have developed to mitigate the expansion of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in deciding to cancel classes, send students home...

Conservatory to Launch New Recording Arts and Production Programs

Conservatory to Launch New Recording Arts and Production Programs

March 6, 2020

The Conservatory has announced new one-year and two-year certificate programs for postgraduate students in Recording Arts and Production. The program is currently accepting applications for its first semester, which will begin this fall. The program is spearheaded by Director of Audio Services Paul Eachus and Associate Director of Audio Services Andrew Tripp. They explained that the idea originated in the midst of the Academic and Administrative Program Review process. “When AAPR initially started to get ...

College “Considering” Outsourcing Dining, Custodial Services

College “Considering” Outsourcing Dining, Custodial Services

February 21, 2020

Employees in Oberlin’s chapter of the United Automobile Workers union are reeling after a Tuesday afternoon email from President Carmen Twillie Ambar to the campus community announced that the College is “formally considering” contracting with outside vendors to provide campus custodial and dining services. If the College ultimately chooses to outsource, more than 100 union employees could lose their jobs on June 30, when the transition would occur. According to President Ambar’s email, O...

Alumni Call for OSCA Survey Dissemination

Erika Brandt, OC ’13, Shane Clark, OC ’14, Jake Grossman, OC ’08, Casey Lee, OC ’12, and Nathaniel Meyer, OC ’09

February 21, 2020

 As alumni working in the sciences, we are concerned over Oberlin College’s recent withdrawal from a collaborative research project designed by College third-year Bhairavi Mehra and Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies John Petersen, OC ’88.  This project, a survey, sought to gather information on student housing and dining experiences to facilitate thoughtful, data-driven decision-making in a time of cultural and financial sensitivity. Facing tough choices, the College previously expressed in the One Oberlin report a desire to determine, through self-assessment, what is essential and unique to Oberlin College — its vital nature and experience for students.  As scientis...

Halted Survey Sparks OSCA Concerns

Halted Survey Sparks OSCA Concerns

February 14, 2020

A proposed survey designed to assess the co-curricular value of the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association and other campus residential experiences was not sent out to students and alumni last July, as originally planned in collaboration with several campus offices. Instead, the College and OSCA will draw on existing institutional data to define their contractual relationship later this spring. Posters declaring “Save Our Beans!” put up this semester have ignited recent campus dialogue about th...

College’s OSCA Stance Inconsistent With One Oberlin Recommendations

Editorial Board

February 14, 2020

 When the Steering Committee of the Academic and Administrative Program Review released its final One Oberlin report in May 2019, a number of its recommendations concerned changes to the College’s relationship with the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association. This Editorial Board was reassured then, by what appeared to be a commitment from administrators, to engage in a process to learn more about the value OSCA brings to the institution. Now, nearly a year later, we’re not so sure that administrators are committed to such a process — and recent developments have troubling implications for the future of a transparent and good-faith One Oberlin implementation. The One Oberlin report recommended engaging “in ...

College Faculty Approves New Business Concentration

Katie Lucey, News Editor

February 7, 2020

The College Faculty voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a new integrative concentration in Business. The concentration, first recommended in last spring’s One Oberlin report, a result of the yearlong Academic and Administrative Program Review, will enroll its first students during the Fall 2021 semester. It will join a new journalism concentration and several new arts-focused programs that will also be introduced in the fall. The AAPR process identified demonstrated student interest in learning core business skills — such as finance and accounting — in an academic setting, while also gaining meaningful work experience that could better prepare students for a career post-graduation. “I have seen more and more students ...

One Oberlin Fails to Address Race, Diversity Issues

Pablo Mitchell, Professor of History and Comparative American Studies

February 7, 2020

 Beyond the hype and anti-union fist-banging of the Academic and Administrative Program Review and One Oberlin report was a distressing silence around diversity. Do a word search of “diversity” in the glitzy 42-page One Oberlin final report. It appears three times. The administration has made admirable progress on diversifying its senior staff. However, where is a comparable commitment to diversifying the tenure-line faculty at Oberlin? Faculty diversity efforts seem to have languished, and tenure-line faculty of color appear to be fleeing the College. There are still large departments and offices in the College and Conservatory that are virtually all white, yet racial diversity barely merits a mention in One O...

Following Quillen’s Appointment, College Must Pursue Similar Stability

Editorial Board

December 13, 2019

 At this crucial moment in Oberlin’s history, we need a seasoned captain at the helm of the ship. Particularly, at a time when significant changes are being instituted to improve the functioning of the College, we need all the stability we can get.  Until recently, both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory have been entrenched in a hiring search for their respective deans. The hiring committee for the Dean of the Conservatory concluded its national search for a suitable candidate, which began in May of this year. The hiring committee for the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences also began earlier this semester and is currently on-going.  The Conservatory has proven that promoting stability ...

William Quillen Named Dean of Conservatory

Anisa Curry Vietze, News Editor

December 13, 2019

William Quillen has been hired as dean of the Conservatory after serving in the position on an interim basis since June 2018. In May, Oberlin launched a confidential national search for the position. Quillen was vice-chair of the Academic and Administrative Program Review’s Steering Committee, alongside Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences David Kamitsuka. The Committee led the institution-wide evaluation and made recommendations to address the College’s financial issues. “I am excited that Bill will continue to provide thoughtful guidance and leadership as dean of the Conservatory,” President Carmen Twillie Ambar said according to a Dec. 10 College press release. “He has demonstrated a vision fo...

“On Second Thought” Promotes Audacity of Innovation

Editorial Board

November 22, 2019

 The audacity of innovation. In the words of Assistant Professor of History and Comparative American Studies Tamika Nunley, this simple yet powerful concept is the driving force behind On Second Thought, an undergraduate research journal she is launching this spring in collaboration with an editorial board of four students. The journal — the only one of its kind at Oberlin — focuses on publishing historical research conducted by Oberlin students.  This initiative is an exciting step forward in highlighting the academic research that Obies in the social sciences and humanities engage with on a daily basis, but don’t have a suitable avenue to express other than through far more rigorous and lengthy honors proj...

Updated OCOPE Contract to be Published Online

Katie Lucey, News Editor

November 1, 2019

Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees will soon publish an updated union contract following negotiations with the College. OCOPE leadership confirmed that language used in the updated contract was ratified on Oct. 2, although the contract in its entirety has not yet been finalized and approved. “We’re currently proofreading the contract, and hope to get it finalized very soon,” Diane Lee, president of OCOPE and interlibrary loan supervisor, wrote in an email to the Review. OCOPE first signed a contract with the College in 1971, ensuring benefits and establishing more transparent human resources policies for union members. Negotiations occur every three years, with the two most recent discussions...

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