The Oberlin Review

The Conservatory is set to launch two new certificate programs in Recording Arts and Production.

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 ...

An Open Letter to Students

Susan L. Phillips, OC ’76

February 28, 2020

 It’s with sincere and profound sorrow that I want you to know that the Susan Phillips Social Justice Scholarship Fund spring interviews have been suspended indefinitely. I know that this will disappoint the students who have benefited from stipends each summer for the past four years, and will deprive others of important internship opportunities in the future.  I have looked forward tremendously to coming to campus in the spring to listen to your creative project proposals and again in the fall to hear about your actual experiences. You have restored my faith in the future during these bleak, divisive times for America — more than I can ever express. Therefore, the decision I’ve made to suspend the program t...

Students Call for Open Dialogue Regarding UAW

Jess Wilber, College third-year, Jemma Johnson Shoucair, College second-year

February 28, 2020

 As students of the Oberlin community, we are writing to call on our fellow students and faculty members in an appeal to President Carmen Twillie Ambar. It is time to launch an open dialogue with the entire Oberlin community to discuss and explore creative ways to retain individuals who have made invaluable contributions to our college lives.  As a result of recent administrative decisions, 108 United Automobile Workers Local 2192 — members of the Oberlin community — stand to lose their jobs. Those who do find jobs with outside contractors will face pay cuts, benefits losses, and degraded working conditions. Unions are critical to upholding living wage jobs and securing rights in the workplace. Replacing union w...

Administration Abandoning Oberlin’s Core

Zeb Page, Associate Professor of Geology, Tom Lopez, OC ’89, Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts, Pablo Mitchell, Professor of History and Comparative American Studies, Alysia Ramos, Assistant Professor of Dance, and Sam Taggart, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

February 28, 2020

 Institutions of higher education in the United States are facing significant challenges after decades of soaring tuition costs and a population that is increasingly skeptical of the value of a liberal arts education. Oberlin College faces these same challenges, which are exacerbated by the recent legacy of fiscal irresponsibility on the part of trustees and administrators who indebted the institution in the pursuit of vain building projects, charting an unsustainable fiscal course. The current administration and the Board of Trustees have quite rightly striven to correct these mistakes by slowing the increase in tuition and reducing the yearly draw on our endowment.  Unfortunately, in their eagerness to correct their past mistakes, the board has imposed a regime of ...

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...

Outsourcing Proposal Creates Unfair Burden; Cuts Must Come From Elsewhere

Editorial Board

February 21, 2020

 After reading Tuesday afternoon’s announcement from President Carmen Twillie Ambar and engaging in conversation with many campus stakeholders, we firmly oppose the College’s proposal to contract with outside vendors to provide campus dining and custodial services. We support the 108 unionized United Automobile Workers employees who could lose their jobs as a result of this proposal and strongly advocate for Oberlin’s administration to identify another area in which to find the approximate $2 million in annual savings that this decision is expected to bring in.  It is important to remember that the financial imperative driving the administration’s proposal to outsource more than 100 jobs is indisputable and i...

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...

Third World Co-op

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...

Oberlin Must Retain Professors Despite Financial Difficulties

Raavi Asdar, Contributing Writer

December 13, 2019

 I recently realized that all four of my professors this semester will not be on campus next year, and two of them are leaving the institution permanently after this semester. My situation is not unique; many students from various departments have echoed concerns of losing an advisor or faculty mentor.  There is a real and present fear among students that many of the faculty members who are leaving will not be replaced, leaving gaps in our curriculum and threatening certain students’ continuation in their courses of study. And though the One Oberlin plan makes the choice not to cut any departments outright, smaller departments losing faculty due to “attrition” is increasingly resembling an existential threa...

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