The Oberlin Review

AAPR Prompts Concern Among Union Supporters

AAPR Prompts Concern Among Union Supporters

April 12, 2019

Oberlin is considering eliminating over 50 staff lines — a decision which could impact up to 40 current employees — as part of the Academic and Administrative Program Review. This is part of just one of the AAPR steering committee’s areas of recommendation meant to address Oberlin’s structural budget deficit. The steering committee referenced Oberlin’s exorbitant employee costs as a reason for the area of recommendation, claiming that 63 percent of Oberlin’s operating budget goes toward em...

Board of Trustees Approves External Financial Review

Lila Michaels, Staff Writer

March 30, 2018

The Board of Trustees unanimously voted to proceed with the Academic and Administrative Program Review during the March 9 board meeting, instructing President Carmen Ambar to put together a 30-person Steering Committee that will oversee the review, which will be led by educational consulting firm Stevens Strategy. This Steering Committee will be made up of 15 faculty members and 15 board members, students, administrative and professional staff, and union members, and it will be chaired by Ambar. “[The Board of Trustees indicated] that I should convene a cross-functional team that includes representation from important faculty committees and faculty leaders as well as other stakeholders,” Ambar wrote in an email...

Trustees Return to Oberlin to Better Understand Student Life

Sydney Allen, News Editor

March 9, 2018

This week, Oberlin administrators, faculty, trustees, and student senators convened for the Board of Trustees’ first 2018 meeting. The trustees participated in several events, including President Carmen Ambar’s proposed financial review and the first ever student organizations expo, as well as the traditional student-trustee forum and board-sponsored 5K run. After a successful December trustee meeting, where board members learned about campus via student-led tours — tours that largely led to Wilder Hall’s renovation — Senate hopes to further its creative approaches in engaging students and board members in dialogue. “We identified that trustees were concerned about a lack of student interfacing,” College s...

Tours Stress Need for Housing Improvements

Tours Stress Need for Housing Improvements

December 8, 2017

Student Senate will arrange student-led campus tours for members of the Board of Trustees in attempt to make them aware of the deteriorating state of certain residential spaces on campus and highlight respective needed improvements. The tours will be held Dec. 7–9, in addition to the usual forums that take place in King Building during Trustee Week. Senate’s goal is to convince the board to allocate more money and resources to housing and other spaces on campus in which students live, study,...

Salary Freeze Incites Faculty Concern

Christian Bolles, Editor-in-Chief

December 8, 2017

Editor’s Note: The letter referenced in this article has been published in full under “Letters to the Editors” in this issue’s Opinions section. As the Board of Trustees convenes this weekend, freezes to non-union salaries remain a key concern among faculty and staff. The freezes were instituted last year and maintained as a result of a $5 million immediate budget deficit and long-term structural deficit disclosed to faculty and staff June 14. After the announcement of the freezes, James Monroe Professor of Politics Chris Howell and Nathan A. Greenberg Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand wrote a letter July 17 — obtained by the Review this week — in response to Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan...

OES Requests Landfill Gas Recovery System

OES Requests Landfill Gas Recovery System

December 8, 2017

The Office of Environmental Sustainability is attempting to reduce Oberlin College’s carbon footprint and boost its sustainability reputation by cutting emissions through a new landfill gas recovery system that was proposed during a presentation to the Board of Trustees yesterday. “[The video] highlights carbon neutrality progress over the past decade and introduces the proposed heating solution utilizing waste heat from the electrification process at the landfill,” said Bridget Flynn, the...

Faculty Salaries at Oberlin College

Chris Howell and Kirk Ormand

December 8, 2017

Editor’s Note: Below is an email sent July 17, 2017 to Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan by College Professors Chris Howell and Kirk Ormand. The Review is publishing it in full, with minor changes to style. Dear Mr. Canavan: Thank you for your communication this spring, in which you explained Oberlin’s current financial crisis and the board’s decision to freeze salaries next year. While we recognize the seriousness of our current situation, we find it inadequate and depressing that neither the board nor the administration has the leadership or imagination to address this crisis in any way other than by eliminating raises for faculty and staff. Allow us to review a bit of recent history. At its June...

Trustee Fora Emphasize Facilities

Meg Parker and Duncan Reid

December 8, 2017

This article is part of the Review’s Student Senate column. In an effort to increase communication and transparency, student senators will provide personal perspectives on recent events on campus and in the community. We’d like to start this article by extending a warm welcome to the Board of Trustees to our campus for their last meeting of 2017. For the fourth time this year, the Board of Trustees have flown in from every corner of the country to convene and discuss Oberlin’s long-term institutional trajectory, the difficulties the institution is facing, and the fulfillment of Oberlin’s fiduciary responsibilities. During this week’s visit, Student Senate chose to shake up how the Board of Trustees will int...

Board Decision Disregards Value of Student Input

Josh Koller, Contributing Writer

November 3, 2017

This article is part of the Review’s Student Senate column. In an effort to increase communication and transparency, Student Senators will provide personal perspectives on recent events on campus and in the community. Cornell University, Colorado College, Ithaca College, and Howard University are just a few of the elite private institutions with currently enrolled students serving as full members of their respective school’s Board of Trustees. These schools, along with many private and a significant majority of public institutions, have welcomed student membership on their boards, acknowledging that they deserve a seat at the table. The nearly two-year-long path that many dedicated Oberlin students have taken to have th...

Review Unintentionally Misrepresents History of Student Activism

Jeremy Poe, Double-degree Fifth-year, Student Senator 2015–2016

November 3, 2017

To the Editors: In the Oct. 27 edition of The Oberlin Review, it was implied that I began the student representatives initiative recently rejected by the board (“Trustees Reject Proposal for Student Representative,” Oct. 27, 2017). This narrative is understandable, given the time and word-count restraints on student reporters, but is unintentionally misleading. It is incorrect to credit me with initiating the pursuit of student representation at the highest level of Oberlin governance, or for coming up with the idea. Student representation was a demand developed internally by Defending Oberlin Financial Accessibility during their 2014–2015 organizing against proposed financial aid changes. In July 2015, after a tru...

Trustees Reject Proposal for Student Representative

Trustees Reject Proposal for Student Representative

October 27, 2017

Former Student Senate Liaison and fifth-year double-degree student Jeremy Poe submitted a letter to the Review 18 months ago calling for student representation on the Board of Trustees. After months of follow-up activism and mobilization from students and Oberlin community members, the board officially rejected a resolution proposing student representatives during their quarterly meetings Oct. 5–7. The proposal requested that the board allow students to sit in on its meetings to improve transpar...

Students Demand Role on Board of Trustees

Alexis Dill and Sydney Allen

October 6, 2017

The Board of Trustees held its tri-annual student forum last night, giving students the chance to voice their opinions and concerns to the trustees before they enter their quarterly executive session. Though students raised a number of issues during the forum, discussions regarding the potential of adding a student representative to the board dominated the evening. For many students, the forum — which was held in four classrooms in the King building — marks the culmination of years of work, as the board is projected to vote on whether to include some type of student representation. Although the board was originally set to vote on the issue at their June meeting, it delayed the decision to this fall session. Chair of...

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