The Oberlin Review

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...

PAL Represents Best, Worst of Oberlin

Kameron Dunbar, Columnist

November 10, 2017

I never had a PAL, but I certainly could have used one as a fledgling first-year. Oberlin has a lot of resources available for students, many of which are difficult to access if you don’t know they exist. Fortunately, I had the iconic Alex Cunningham as a mentor to lead me in the right direction and keep me on my path. Not everyone has such a positive experience — students are often left to fend for themselves without guidance from peers. One positive thing that came out of the College’s recent Strategic Plan was an acknowledgement of the need for reform in Oberlin’s advising system. Putting it bluntly, students shared a common feeling of disappointment in Oberlin’s pre-major advising mechanisms. This is ho...

SPIDIE Issues Recommendations on School Diversity

Louis Krauss, News editor

April 7, 2017

Looking to revamp the College’s policies on diversity requirements, the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, or SPIDIE, will present its recommendations to general faculty for approval Wednesday. The hope is that administrators will begin discussing the recommendations if general faculty groups respond positively at Wednesday’s meeting, but SPIDIE members remain unsure if that will happen. This early draft of recommendations outlines, in broad terms, how the school can increase compositional diversity in the student body and faculty in upcoming years, as well as how to better support marginalized groups on campus. Some significant changes proposed include hiring a chief diversit...

Implementation Committees Inch Toward Final Plans

Sydney Allen, Production Editor

March 3, 2017

A year has passed since the College formed implementation committees for the Strategic Plan, and in that time progress has widely varied by group. Committees like Resource Management have made strides, while others wait idly for their turn with movement contingent on other groups’ plans. “Compared to previous plans, the implementation is actually off to a faster start,” President Marvin Krislov said. “It’s a five-year plan and not all recommendations will be moving forward at the same pace. ... Some of these recommendations also relate to the groups, so Resource Management is going to help define how much we can do in certain areas and how quickly. We think the progress is actually moving quite well, and...

Oberlin Lacks Reason to Place Trust in Board

Jeremy Poe, Contributing Writer

February 24, 2017

The Board of Trustees has seemingly done away with traditional public forums for students to speak to trustees, and the student body has yet to receive an explanation. Eliminating such access to the board is unprecedented and a significant cause for concern. The trustees seem determined to continue isolating themselves, giving the community less reason to trust them and threatening to exacerbate an already untenable political arrangement at Oberlin. The trustees have imposed their will on campus in a number of recent actions, such as the recently approved Philips gym expansion and the in-progress Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center. Beyond capital projects, the treatment of Professor Joy Karega in 2016 prompted concern about ...

Implementation Committees Address Strategic Plan

Oliver Bok and Eliza Guinn

September 9, 2016

Implementation committees for the Strategic Plan have started meeting. That much is clear. Everything else — from who is on the implementation committees to how the implementation committees will interact — is far more obscure. The process is byzantine, but the stakes are high. The Strategic Plan is intended to guide the Board of Trustee’s decisions for the next five-ten years. Among other proposals, the plan recommends developing “theme-based course clusters,” creating a new advising system and increasing diversity in both the faculty and student body. The plan advises “analyzing current operational and capital expenditures, determining appropriate tradeoffs, and reallocating resources.” Implementation comm...

The community-owned Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System plant generates and provides electric power to its 3,100 residential and commercial customers. Oberlin College is working toward its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025.

Faculty Look to Achieve Carbon Neutrality

March 11, 2016

With 20/20 hindsight, several major stakeholders in Oberlin College’s Environmental Policy Implementation Plan are working to find new ways to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. The plan, which was adopted in November, calls for a number of implementation strategies including further integrating education on environmental issues into the College’s curriculum. Although a number of these strategies have been realized, those charged with implementing the plan are pushing for a more intentional...

New Strategic Plan Draft Pursues Inclusivity

Madeline Stocker, Editor-in-Chief

February 12, 2016

Published nearly four months after the release of the last draft, the newest version of Oberlin’s Strategic Plan continues to make marked departures from the contents of the 2005 document. Though it remains more of a comprehensive list of goals than a specific implementation plan, the current draft does identify two of the administration’s future initiatives — the development of “theme-based course clusters” and the creation of a guidance system that will offer support to students throughout their first four post-undergraduate years. The draft, which was made public Wednesday evening, focuses considerably on ensuring an “inclusive and equitable learning environment” — certainly more so than its...

Until Next Time: What’s to Come Next Semester

Tyler Sloan, News Editor

December 12, 2015

Strategic Plan: College President Marvin Krislov said that a final draft of the Strategic Plan will be published in March. The Steering Committee released a draft, titled Oberlin College Strategic Plan 2016-2021: Shaping the Future, on Tuesday, Oct. 26, which was met with student concern regarding ambiguous language and future plans. City Manager: Interim City Manager Sal Talarico will take over for outgoing City Manager Eric Norenberg when he leaves for a new management position in Milford, Delaware on Jan. 1. Talarico will serve as interim manager until the Council selects a permanent replacement by April. Between the World and Me Dinner and Discussion: The Lewis House and Religious Life Center will host a dinner and ...

Students and faculty members discuss the most recent draft of the Board of Trustees’ Strategic Plan at a listening session on Monday. Students expressed concern over the Strategic Plan’s language, which they called ambiguous and unpromising.

Community Calls for More Details in Strategic Plan

November 20, 2015

Almost all the students at the listening session on Monday had the same overarching question in reaction to the Strategic Plan draft: Where are the specifics? “This whole document doesn’t say anything; It’s all fluff and clouds,” said Donnay Edmund, College senior. “I didn’t get one concrete thing out of this whole document.” The Strategic Plan will guide the Board of Trustees’ decision making for the next five to 10 years. The process began at the start of the 2013-14 school...

Group Releases Strategic Plan Draft

Oliver Bok, News Editor

October 30, 2015

Smaller tuition increases, a new program strengthening student-alumni relationships and inter-departmental courses — the new draft of the Strategic Plan contains all of those components in its vision for the College’s future. The Steering Committee released a new draft of the Plan on Tuesday, intended to guide the Board of Trustees’ decision-making for the next 10 years. The Committee consists of administrators, trustees, alumni, staff and students. The draft of the new plan recommends “slow[ing] the rate of annual increases in student charges.” This language marks a shift from the 2005 plan, which called for increasing net tuition, the total amount of tuition collected while factoring in financial aid. But ...

Committee Weighs Possible Budget Reduction

Oliver Bok, News Editor

September 11, 2015

The College’s financial position isn’t healthy, and the community will have to make tough decisions about where to put resources in the near future. At any rate, that’s the conclusion that many members of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee — the group of students, faculty, staff, trustees and administrators who are tasked with planning the College’s fiscal and educational future — seem to be coming to. “To put it simply, we have made a lot of promises that cost money,” said double-degree junior and committee member Hayden Arp. “We promised to raise faculty salaries to the median of our peer group. We promised to be carbon neutral by 2025. And then there’s the things we want to do: We want ...

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