Mills & Northeastern Merger
Mills College and Northeastern University are merging to create a bicoastal university powered by Northeastern’s global experiential learning and research and strengthened by Mills’ legacy in women's leadership, equity, and social justice.
Vision & Values
Mills and Northeastern are combining to create a distinctive, bicoastal university that empowers students, faculty, staff, and society at large.
The goal of the merger is to provide new opportunities for current and future students. Building on the strengths of both institutions, Mills College will continue to offer a transformative education in the heart of Oakland, California, within the global network of Northeastern University.
In addition to new undergraduate and graduate degree programs that will be offered by Mills College at Northeastern University, we are designing a Mills Institute to support the curriculum and further the legacy and mission of Mills. Programming and community engagement will focus on women’s leadership, gender and racial justice, and student success.
Mills and Northeastern have developed a collaborative process for bringing together our communities as we work through strategic and operational details involved in the transition leading up to our merger in July 2022.
Mills College and Northeastern University are collaborating with the City of Oakland and the Oakland Fund for Public Innovation to help address three pressing issues facing Oakland today: violent crime, homelessness, and abandoned vehicles and illegal dumping. Known as the City Challenge Program, this community-based effort will encourage Oakland residents (and others) to submit their ideas and solutions to these issues for implementation beginning in 2022. Learn more about the program.
Mills College joins Northeastern University’s Women Who Empower Leadership Series on April 14, 2022. This intimate event will bring together MotherCoders Founder and Mills alum Tina Lee ’01, MBA ’02, and Equator Coffee & Teas Co-Founder, CEO, and Northeastern alum Helen Russell, DMSB ’88. Learn about the Women Who Empower Lecture Series.
How did this year's Academy Awards stack up in the diversity category? After protests in 2015 and 2016 over #OscarsSoWhite, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences promised to increase the diversity of its membership—the voting body behind the Academy Awards. Mills Professor Kate Karniouchina breaks down the data to see just how far we have (or haven’t) come. Read the News@Northeastern story.
How the Merger Saves Mills
Mills Alumna and Trustee Dr. Marilyn R. Schuster ‘65 weighs in on how the transformation of Mills into Mills College at Northeastern University will not only save the college but bring more opportunities for students, faculty, and staff. Read the story on the Ms.magazine website.
Is a $590 Million Opioid Settlement Enough for Native Americans?
The recent $590 million settlement with opioid distributors is being hailed as a historic win for Indigenous tribes—but according to Mills Professor Natalee Kēhaulani Bauer that's not the whole story. She explains that while this agreement indicates progress, it also highlights a roster of ongoing issues that Native Americans continue to face. Read the News@Northeastern story.
Northeastern in Oakland
In fall 2022, the Mills College campus will host a cohort of first-year Northeastern University students through the N.U.in and NU Bound programs. They'll begin their university experience in one of the nation's most diverse cities with easy access to Berkeley, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. Learn about the N.U.in and NU Bound programs.
Northeastern Student-Designed Bench Gifted to Mills
Northeastern University has gifted Mills College a handmade bench in a symbolic gesture of friendship and community as the two institutions pursue a merger. The Wooden Wave isn’t just any bench, it’s designed by Northeastern architecture students and features a functional seesaw comprised of nearly 60 individual, vertical pieces of wood joined by a deceptively simple dowel system. Four of these benches are located on the Northeastern campus, and in an expression of unity, one can now be found on the Mills campus. Read the News@Northeastern story.
Policing the Gender Binary
Traditional gender norms have been shifting for some time, pushing against the construct of a gender binary that forces people into one of two distinct gender categories. Some experts—including Susan Stryker, Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership at Mills College—argue it’s not just authoritarian regimes like China that attempt to regulate cultural concepts of "proper masculinity" and "proper femininity." Read the News@Northeastern story.
Luxury Spending During the Pandemic
Nearly two full years into pandemic life, certain behavioral trends have become clear. One behavior might surprise you: luxury spending. Unprecedented sales on luxury goods have experts theorizing that it comes down to a life-is-short mentality that makes people question what’s meaningful to them. However, surging demand for high-end items brings another pandemic trend into sharp focus—the nation's growing disparity between rich and poor. Read the News@Northeastern story.
Turn New Year’s Resolutions into Long-Term Solutions
By mid-January most of us have already abandoned our New Year’s resolutions. Mills Psychology Professor Christie Chung says three simple tricks could make the difference in sticking with it this year. Read the News@Northeastern story.
Communities Join to Celebrate the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Mills and Northeastern communities came together to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the virtual event A Tribute to the Dream: Voting Rights and the 'Threat to Justice Everywhere.' The event included a keynote address by Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general for civil rights at the US Department of Justice, and a conversation between Northeastern Professors Régine Jean-Charles and Margaret Burnham. Watch the livestream recording.
Mills Professors Speak to bell hooks’ Impact on Education
bell hooks, Black feminist icon and leading public intellectual, died in December leaving a legacy of thought leadership and more than 40 books on topics ranging from gender, race, and joy to women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, love, and capitalism. For academics and students, however, it may be her stance on education and the role it should play in creating spaces for social change that feels most poignant. Mills Professors Wendi Williams and Judith Bishop examine hooks’ ideas about education and where we continue to see her influence today. Read the News@Northeastern story.
Pandemic Grief Isn't Just for People Who Lost A Loved One
The US reached a grim milestone in mid-December, surpassing 800,000 COVID-19 deaths, a staggering figure that reveals another—the number of people who have lost a loved one to the pandemic. Grief isn't isolated to those who've lost someone, says Mills Professor of Psychology Elizabeth Bachen. Collective loss can manifest in many ways, and the healing process can be complicated by public health restrictions that keep us isolated. With the holiday season upon us grief can be compounded, making compassion and self-care paramount. Read the News@Northeastern story.
Exonerations Aren’t Enough—Mills Professor Makes the Case for Black Reparations
The recent string of high-profile exonerations of men of color has spotlighted the systemic failures that led to the wrongful convictions. Mills Professor Ashely Adams weighs in on why exonerations don't go far enough in providing closure or restitution. An expert on African American reparations, Professor Adams explores the impacts of such injustices—from the lives of the exonerated men and their families to our collective understanding of history. Read the News@Northeastern story.
Will Instagram's Changes Make Social Media Safer for Our Youth?
Instagram is introducing a series of new safety measures designed to protect users from the negative impact of social media, but will they lessen the toxicity impacting our youth? Mills Associate Provost and Cognitive Psychologist, Christie Chung, notes that "the emotional echoes of negative online experiences can be felt long after a teen or younger user logs off." Read the News@Northeastern story.
Find Yourself Humming Holiday Tunes? Music Professors Chime In.
Northeastern and Mills music professors weigh in on why we love (or hate) holiday music. Composer and Mills Professor Anne Hege explores the unique role this genre plays from a choral perspective. Few other types of music encourage group harmonizing with friends and family, or bridge the divide between those who normally listen or don’t listen to choral music. Read the News@Northeastern story.
With the release of the much-praised movie about the rise of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, Dean of the Mills College School of Education weighs in on the tale of parental striving the film showcases. Dean Williams (not related to the family) says "she hopes the film will generate more conversation around what Black parents in America face as they work to support their children in majority white spaces and pursuits, and against the legacies that have denied them equal participation." Read the News@Northeastern story.
Mills students are now welcome to attend one of the most popular global learning experiences offered by Northeastern—Dialogue of Civilizations. This multi-week summer program provides an opportunity for a small cohort of students led by a faculty member to have a short-term international experience for credit. Financial assistance is available to help students participate. Learn more about the fascinating topics on the Dialogue of Civilizations web page.
Mills is pleased to announce the creation of an endowed Mills Legacy Scholarship Fund to help preserve the College’s legacy as an institution that champions the education of women and gender nonbinary students. This scholarship will empower undergraduate students to pursue their education at Mills College at Northeastern. Give a gift to the fund.
Mills Psychology Professor Elizabeth Bachen discusses the recently declared national emergency of worsening child and adolescent mental health that is “inextricably tied to the stress brought on by COVID-19 and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.” Professor Bachen explains why early prevention and physical health are critical factors in preventing and treating mental illness. Read the News@Northeastern story.
Illustrator and Mills English Professor Ajuan Mance explores DC Comics' announcement that the new Superman is bisexual, including how comic books and graphic novels provide greater opportunities for positive LGBTQ+ representation and how changing fandom demographics are driving new characters and storylines. Read the News@Northeastern story.
Set to launch in the spring 2022 semester, the Leading Social Change Program has been designed by Mills faculty for a small cohort of Mills and Northeastern students who will live on the Mills campus. Students will take an interdisciplinary, project-based core course with Northeastern peers and choose other relevant Mills courses from across disciplines. Learn about the Leading Social Change Program.
As Northeastern students consider applying for the new Leading Social Change Program at Mills in spring 2022, senior Alexandra Moreno took over Northeastern's Instagram to share a day in the life of a Mills student. Moreno shared glimpses of favorite spots on campus and things to do off campus while fielding questions. View her Instagram Stories takeover (must be logged into Instagram).
Merger News Updates
A Message from the Mills College Board of Trustees
We want Mills to continue to be the best it can be. We looked at many possibilities and several opportunities. We found in Northeastern University a partner that will value our Mills students, our Mills faculty, and our Mills campus. The merger with Northeastern University means students will continue to study with Mills faculty on the Mills campus and obtain degrees and access to broader opportunities for study and experiential learning, including career preparation. Read the full message.
The Mills College Board of Trustees approved the merger of Mills College with Northeastern University, ensuring that the educational mission of Mills and its commitment to social justice, gender equity, and cultivating women’s leadership will live on. Read the full message.
As Mills College at Northeastern University, we will be able to sustain Mills’ mission, preserve its legacy, more robustly serve our own people—students, faculty, staff, and alumnae—as well as remain a good neighbor and critical anchor in our local community and the East Bay. Read the full message.