Mills Refutes Legal Claims

Oakland, CA—August 26, 2021
Statement on Plaintiff’s Ex Parte Application, August 26, 2021

Today’s legal maneuver of the Alumnae Association of Mills College (AAMC) asks the court for an additional 60-day extension of an injunction to stop the College from finalizing a merger with Northeastern University. This continued gamesmanship by the AAMC is now plain, seeking to use Dr. Viji Nakka-Cammauf’s rights as a Trustee of Mills College not to educate her for purposes of her Board votes, but rather to supersede the independent judgment of 22 other Trustees of the College and derail the proposed transaction with Northeastern.

The facts are:

  • Mills has complied with the Court’s order. Despite limited resources of a staff stretched thin by layoffs and resignations, the start of a new school year during a worldwide pandemic, and the added time and effort required to negotiate a potentially transformative alliance with Northeastern University, Mills provided electronic copies of 955 documents, totaling 21,067 pages, to Plaintiff Dr. Nakka-Cammauf’s counsel on Wednesday, August 18, as per the court deadline.
  • The materials provided are in addition to the thousands of pages of financial reports, analyses, presentations, minutes, resolutions, communications, and other Board materials going back many years that are contained in the Board’s intranet, all of which is—and has been—available to the Plaintiff in her role as Trustee.

Showing the College has nothing to hide, and that the Trustees have had access to ample information, Mills will offer the Court access to the Board’s intranet and the data room that holds all the documents that were provided to Dr. Nakka-Cammauf in response to the Court’s order.

In addition, Mills will file a Cross-Complaint, both to seek the relief it is due and to paint a clear picture of the extent of the tactics employed by the AAMC, which include pressuring two alumna Trustees to violate their duties of confidentiality to the College and publicly disclosing confidential information. The Cross-Complaint will also delineate the irreparable harm, including financial ruin, that will come to Mills, and its community, if further delay tactics are permitted.

The AAMC claims to be acting on behalf of Mills alumnae, but that is absolutely not the case. While this suit bears the name of the AAMC, the legal actions are advocated by a minority of individuals who are ignoring the AAMC’s own corporate bylaws and any dissenting alumnae views. Increasingly, alumnae are speaking out against the AAMC’s behavior, asking for an immediate cease and desist.

As the College continues to negotiate final terms with Northeastern, the Trustees are engaged this week and next in collaborative study sessions in preparations for a planned vote on the proposed transaction after the court order expires at 5:00 pm on September 3, 2021.

The Trustees other than Dr. Nakka-Cammauf look forward to fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities and meeting on September 3 to avert a crisis and also, importantly, to secure a future in which the powerful mission of Mills College can endure for generations to come.