With the elimination of the liberal arts graduate program and the dramatic arts and media studies major, as well as the reduction of the drama department’s budget, the college’s future is straying far from its purpose and purpose.
The effects will be detrimental.
For the first 150 years the college was promoted as a liberal arts school for women. It still is, but programs that are at the core of a liberal arts education are being slashed by administration in favor of improving the science and math departments.
As drama student get name from notes said, “How can we be a liberal arts college without an active theater?”
The new strategic plan, which will guide the college for the next five years, is being developed with the idea that the college should play to its strengths. Drama, theater and communications, along with dance and music have long been some of the college’s strongest points.
Through budget maneuvers like the funding cuts to the theater the administration has focused on the growth of the college’s math and science departments. While Mills was the first women’s college to have a computer science program, it needs to continue to offer students opportunities to express their artistic sides.
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Chemistry and math majors have long been in Mills theater productions, or involved in Mills music and publications.
Many students choose liberal arts colleges for these opportunities. If new programs create financial constraints for truly liberal arts programs, they should not be put in place.
Also, officials in the Office of Student Life often say activities that keep students on campus, like theater or sports, end up keeping students at the college.
If Mills fails to live up to its history as a strong liberal arts school, it will have to find new ways to promote itself. Students who came here have every right to feel abandoned by an administration that systematically cuts programs and fails to live up to its promise.
Get numbers from blue book percent of students are in the traditional liberal arts majors, English, the arts, history and psychology. If the college wants to be great, it needs to focus on its mission and save unrelated growth and the development of new programs for more financially secure times.
Cutting key programs will only hurt Mills in the long run.