The Oberlin Review

Ohio Federation of Teachers Responds to UAW Controversy

Melissa Cropper, President, Ohio Federation of Teachers

April 24, 2020

To President Carmen Twillie Ambar, We, the more than 20,000 members of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, stand in solidarity with our United Auto Workers brothers and sisters targeted for outsourcing at Oberlin College. Outsourcing more than 100 union workers in order to avoid paying health benefits is morally bankrupt in the best of times, but to do so during a global pandemic is absolutely unconscionable. Furthermore, union busting is especially egregious for an institution that markets its progressive history to draw students. As teachers, we know that the working conditions of the employees who make our schools run, whether that be custodians or food service providers, directly influence the ability of stud...

Campus Housing Announcements Spark Student Confusion, Frustration

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

April 15, 2020

Students remaining in College-owned housing were left confused and frustrated last week after receiving a pair of email communications — the first from the Office of Residential Education and the second from President Carmen Twillie Ambar — regarding potential changes to their living situations. The emails came after most students were required to vacate campus housing last month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; students who stayed on campus went through a petition process in order to do so. On Tuesday, April 7, ResEd informed students in campus housing that they should start packing up their belongings in order to be “consolidated” into South, Langston, or Noah Halls beginning Friday, April 17. The ro...

President Carmen Twillie Ambar shakes a graduate's hand at Oberlin's 2019 commencement ceremony. Photo by Amber Benford and courtesy of the Office of Communications.

Commencement & Reunion Weekend Postponed, Digital Ceremony Announced

April 4, 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Commencement & Reunion Weekend has been postponed until the spring of 2021, when the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 will participate in a combined ceremony. A virtual celebration will replace this year’s in-person graduation ceremony that was originally scheduled for Monday, May 25. The 50-year reunion for the Class of 1970 will also be postponed until 2021. Members of the Oberlin campus and community were alerted to these updates via a Tue...

Hundreds of students protested President Carmen Twillie Ambar’s recent announcement that the College is “formally considering” contracting with outside vendors, potentially cutting 108 United Automobile Workers union jobs, in the King Building Wednesday.

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...

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...

YeoFit Undergoes Schedule Changes

Alexis Dill and Alexa Stevens

December 13, 2019

The now three-semester-old YeoFit program is being assessed by program leadership to determine the best model to both encourage attendance and minimize cost moving forward. The program offers a variety of free fitness classes — including yoga, cardio boxing, spinning, and more — throughout the week at the Shanks Health and Wellness Center. These offerings are prone to change, though. YeoFit classes have led to structural changes evaluated by attendance and advertising initiatives throughout the Athletics department in an attempt to better establish the program on campus. One such advertising initiative occurred throughout the first module: Students who attended a specified number of YeoFit classes wer...

Michael Grzesiak

College Announces VP for Advancement

November 22, 2019

Last Friday, the Office of Communications announced via email Michael Grzesiak’s appointment to the vice president for advancement position. The position is currently held in an interim capacity by Rachel Smith Silver, who stepped in following Bill Barlow’s retirement in June. The search committee — led by President Carmen Twillie Ambar and consisting of faculty, staff, and a student senator — conducted a nationwide search for the position. “We are excited about Mike because of the experience ...

Report Showcases Economic Impact of College on Local Community

Katie Lucey, News Editor

October 11, 2019

According to an economic impact report released by Oberlin College on Sept. 25, the College “has a significant economic influence” on the greater Oberlin and Lorain County community and will contribute an estimated $143 million in direct and indirect spending in the region throughout 2019. The release of the report, titled “Our Community: 2019 Oberlin College Community Impact Report,” preceded last week’s Board of Trustees meeting and Tuesday’s announcement of the board’s decision to appeal the $25 million judgment against the College in the lawsuit filed by Gibson’s Bakery Oberlin contracted IMPLAN, an economic impact analysis firm, to produce the report. IMPLAN used 2018 inflation-adjusted institutional...

Carmen Ambar and Bobby Fuller: Contrasting Two Presidencies

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

October 4, 2019

 Editor’s note: This column is part of a series that will focus on Oberlin’s history as a town and an institution. The series will be published regularly throughout the fall semester. “The time is ripe for a new look at the fundamental propositions and the fundamental building blocks that underlie a liberal arts college education.”  So said Robert Fuller, Oberlin’s 10th president, in his 1970 opening address to the Oberlin community held in Finney Chapel. But it could have been said just as easily by President Carmen Twillie Ambar, Oberlin’s 15th president, who came to Oberlin in 2017 with a similar vision — to respond to broader shifts in higher education by reforming the Oberlin experience.  ...

Search for Next Vice President for Advancement Ongoing

Katie Lucey, News Editor

September 27, 2019

A search is underway for Oberlin’s next vice president for advancement, a position previously titled vice president for development and alumni affairs. Candidates will be expected to build upon previous institutional fundraising campaigns, such as Oberlin Illuminate, as well as articulate a strategy for Oberlin’s financial future as shaped by Academic and Administrative Program Review recommendations. Rachel Smith Silver assumed the position on an interim basis following the retirement of Bill Barlow last June. Upper-level administrators, including President Carmen Twillie Ambar, Acting Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences David Kamitsuka, Acting Dean of the Conservatory Bill Quillen, other administrative s...

Property Records Reveal Gibson Family Holdings

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

September 20, 2019

Property records obtained through the Lorain County Auditor’s office reveal that the Gibson family, who recently won a $25 million judgement in the lawsuit they filed against Oberlin College and Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo, own property within Oberlin city limits worth approximately $1.7 million, a sum figure not previously discussed in the media. The value assessments are calculated by the auditor’s office using tax information and in-person assessments. The figure does not include properties owned outside of Oberlin or controlled through Off Street Parking, Inc. — a corporation in which David Gibson owns a majority stake. While the Gibson family’s property ownership was not a key element...

The Cox Administration Building houses the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences’ office. Currently, both the College and the Conservatory are engaged in an active search for new deans.

Searches Launch for Next College, Conservatory Deans

September 6, 2019

In a time of unprecedented institutional change following the recommendations of the Academic and Administrative Program Review, both the College and Conservatory have launched active searches for new deans. The AAPR, which concluded this past spring, was chaired by Acting Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences David Kamitsuka and vice-chaired by Acting Dean of the Conservatory William Quillen. Both Kamitsuka and Quillen are currently filling their positions on an interim basis. Kamitsuka ass...

Established 1874.