Northeastern, Mills College finalize partnership


Marta Hill

Northeastern announced Sept. 14 that the negotiations it was in with Mills College in Oakland, California, have been finalized. The partnership will also lead to the creation of the Mills Institute which, according to News@Northeastern, will be dedicated to empowering women, BIPOC and first-generation students.

Matt Yan, editor-in-chief

Northeastern University announced today in an email from President Joseph E. Aoun that it has finalized negotiations with Mills College in Oakland, California, for a partnership first announced in June. Mills College will now be known as Mills College at Northeastern University. 

“Just hours ago, we reached a definitive agreement to merge with Mills College in Oakland, California,” Aoun said in the email. “The trustees of both institutions have approved the terms, and President Beth Hillman and I have each signed the agreement.”

The finalized merger follows a series of hurdles. On Aug. 5, a California judge blocked Mills College from starting any partnerships after a motion was filed on behalf of two trustees who sought more information into the merger with Northeastern. 

The college will still be led by President Elizabeth Hillman, who will retain her title. All current students at Mills can either complete their degree program at Mills or transfer to Northeastern at no additional cost, with all financial aid grants honored by Northeastern. Tenured faculty will remain tenured as a part of the merger and will be subject to Northeastern’s post-tenure review processes, News@Northeastern reported. 

Mills College adds another campus to Northeastern’s global repertoire and on the west coast. Aoun added it will become a “flagship” campus. 

“Together we have an opportunity to create something truly unique in higher education,” Aoun said. “We aspire to build a comprehensive, bicoastal university that leverages the complementary strengths of Mills and Northeastern for the benefit of students and society.”

The partnership will also see the creation of the Mills Institute, which according to News@Northeastern, is “dedicated to advancing women’s leadership and to empowering BIPOC and first-generation students.” 

The merger will take full effect July 1, 2022, and Northeastern will assume all of Mills’ financial assets, liability and contractual obligations. 

“Our world is in desperate need of what great colleges and universities provide: knowledge, discovery, innovation, inclusion, and service,” the email read. “By joining together, Mills and Northeastern can reach new heights and have broader impacts on our world. This is our collective mission, our calling, our guiding star.”