Office of the President

Elizabeth L. Hillman


Mills College President Elizabeth L. Hillman
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Elizabeth L. Hillman

President of Mills College

Elizabeth L. Hillman began her tenure at the College on July 1, 2016.

With a passion for independent, student-centered education and the historic mission of Mills, President Hillman has the grit, courage, and resolve to help Mills envision and define its future. During her first year, the College articulated MillsNext, a new standard for accessible, transformative education through three pillars: academic excellence in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences, and technology; applied learning, global understanding, and real-world skills development; and gender and racial justice in academic programs and community engagement. In September of 2017, she led a tuition reset effort to translate the value of a Mills education to prospective students and their families, resulting in a historic 36 percent (or $16,000) reduction in undergraduate tuition, confirming Mills’ commitment to access and affordability for all students. Her leadership team has relied on Mills’ illustrious faculty and enterprising students to elevate student success, building new pathways to degrees, new academic structures and programs, and stronger partnerships.

Under President Hillman, Mills has formalized partnerships with UC Berkeley, the Peralta Community College District, and the Oakland Unified School District to maximize the resources and offerings of each institution to the benefit of students, and to provide seamless pathways to a transformative education. Hillman sees a broad-based, liberal arts education as creating the potential for growth, understanding, and progress, has an innate understanding of how to unite passionate people around a mission, and has been a national leader in promoting gender and racial equity, especially in the U.S. armed forces.

President Hillman has also engaged nationally in higher education leadership. In 2017, she was named a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Science, Engineering, and Medical Workplaces and became a founding president of the President's Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, which seeks to influence the policy-making process on immigration, especially the policies that affect undocumented students. In 2018, she was appointed NCAA Division III Chancellors and Presidents Advisory Group, and to the board of the Women’s College Coalition.