The Oberlin Review

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...

Outward-Facing Philosophy Deeply Rooted in Oberlin’s History

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

November 22, 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. When then-First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at Oberlin’s commencement ceremonies in 2015, she had the institution’s social justice reputation in mind. “If you truly wish to carry on the Oberlin legacy of service and social justice, then you need to run to, and not away from, the noise,” Obama said. “Today, I want to urge you to actively seek out the most contentious, polarized, gridlocked places you can find. Because so often, throughout our history, those have been the places where progress really happens — the pl...

College’s Appeal in Gibson’s Case Misguided, Avoidable

David Marwil OC ’70

November 8, 2019

 I urge the College to refrain from appealing the Gibson’s case. Instead, Oberlin must turn inward and reflect on what led to this unfortunate state of affairs in the first place. The behavior of the College, by which I mean students and administrators alike, revolves around the false premise that Gibson’s was a racist institution. The College’s actions towards Gibson’s were arrogant and mean-spirited throughout. My sense is that Gibson’s would not have filed suit if the College had treated them well, even if they had already suffered some losses. My experience as a physician is that, in most cases, patients do not sue unless they are disgruntled, even if the physician makes a mistake. Certainly, Gibson’s had...

Koppel’s Gibson’s Coverage Provides Biased Perspective

Booker C. Peek, Professor Emeritus of Africana Studies

November 8, 2019

 Ted Koppel struck out with the bases loaded this past Sunday on CBS News’ “Sunday Morning.” The segment focused on the nearly $50 million lawsuit filed by Gibson’s Bakery against Oberlin College; Koppel’s question was, “What is the fair price for a family’s good name?” Koppel was easily one of America’s most respected, and perhaps most admired, TV journalists over the past 40 years because his approach to find the truth was undergirded by the fiercest resolve to be fair and balanced — until now. Informally known as “Grandpa Gibson,” Allyn Gibson, who is around 90 years old, should not have to pass away being forever remembered as a racist. Nor should his son, David, have to spend any time fig...

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...

Dana Hamdan Named Director of Career Development Center

Dana Hamdan Named Director of Career Development Center

September 20, 2019

Dana Hamdan has been hired as executive director of the Career Development Center after serving in the position in an interim capacity during the 2018–19 school year. As director, Hamdan will collaborate on the implementation of recommendations made by the Academic and Administrative Program Review last year. Many of these recommendations involve better preparing Oberlin students for their professional lives after graduation and will directly impact the career center’s role on campus. “Oberlin is ...

Searches Launch for Next College, Conservatory 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...

Jury Rules For Gibson’s, Assigns $44 Million in Damages

Jury Rules For Gibson’s, Assigns $44 Million in Damages

June 14, 2019

Editor's note: Due to the scope of national media attention, the Review took the extraordinary step of covering the Gibson's verdict outside of normal publication dates. Because of limited staff capacity, the Review does not moderate comments during the summer, and letters to the editors in response to any article will be reviewed for publication in the fall. Please direct any questions to [email protected] The Lorain County jury overseeing the trial between Gibson’s Bakery and Ob...

AAPR Unveils Draft of Final Recommendations

AAPR Unveils Draft of Final Recommendations

May 3, 2019

On Monday, the steering committee of the Academic and Administrative Program Review released a public draft of its final recommendations that will be submitted to President Carmen Twillie Ambar at the end of this semester. The draft, a 59-page document expanding on the initial areas of recommendation made public in March, was the subject of a well-attended public forum yesterday. According to Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and AAPR Chair David Kamitsuka, the draft was informed by feedb...

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