April 29, 2019

To: The Oberlin College & Conservatory Community

From: The Academic and Administrative Program Review Steering Committee

Subject: The Academic and Administrative Program Review Final Report


Dear Members of the Oberlin Community,

We are proud to share with you the draft final report of the Academic and Administrative Program Review. This report is the product of an extensive information-gathering process, unprecedented at Oberlin, followed by analysis of all that was gathered. These efforts provided the basis for a rigorous search for solutions — deliberations that were invariably focused on Oberlin’s mission and long-term flourishing. As the ideas in the report emerged, the Steering Committee offered them to the Oberlin community for an intensive period of consultation that has included more than 45 presentations, meetings and listening sessions over the last six weeks alone. The questions, suggestions, and experience that so many of you offered during this time have helped shape the report we offer today. Thank you for your commitment to this review process.

As we enter a 10-day period for final comment, we would like to share a few lessons we have learned as a steering committee. At its essence, the AAPR is most fundamentally about how we should allocate and align our resources to advance Oberlin’s excellence and leadership as a college and conservatory. Each chapter of this process presented challenges to the steering committee and the community at large: limited resources require making difficult choices involving challenging trade-offs. To make these choices, we were guided by Oberlin’s mission of excellence and inclusion. We worked, as well, to face these challenges as a community, with good will and a shared dedication to Oberlin. Upcoming deliberations by the General Faculty and the campus community will require that spirit, along with the integrity to insist on real solutions, even with pressures coming from many directions. To be sure, the stakes embedded in the AAPR recommendations are high. The stakes we would venture through inaction, however, are much, much higher — the onset of a crisis for Oberlin. Turning away from our responsibilities is not an option.

After our consultations with the community, we feel strongly that the interconnected set of recommendations in the Final Report will lead to a thriving Oberlin, and we ask for your participation and support in this final phase of the process. As a community, we are the ones who can safeguard the legacy of all who have come before us. And we are the ones who can make it possible for future generations to benefit from all that this remarkable institution has to offer. If we can come together in support of this report, the Academic and Administrative Program Review will have served Oberlin’s historic mission, and created a stronger, more outstanding college and conservatory.

The Academic and Administrative Program Review Steering Committee

  • David Kamitsuka, Chair of the AAPR Steering Committee and Acting Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • William Quillen, Vice Chair of the AAPR Steering Committee and Acting Dean of the Conservatory
  • Brian Alegant, Professor of Music Theory
  • Corey Barnes ’98, Associate Professor and Chair of Religion
  • Cristina Briboneria ’05, Alumni Leadership Council at-large member  
  • Ron Cheung, Professor and Chair of Economics
  • Kameron Dunbar, Class of 2019, Chair of Student Senate
  • Sebastiaan Faber, Professor and Chair of Hispanic Studies
  • Cindy Frantz, Professor of Psychology and Environmental Studies
  • Mary Garvin, Professor of Biology 
  • Aaron Goldman, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Alexia Hudson-Ward, Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries
  • Ben Jones ’96, Vice President for Communications
  • Leslie Joseph ’06, Director, Audiovisual Services
  • Sadie Keller, Class of 2019
  • Wendy Kozol ’80, Professor of Comparative American Studies and Affiliate of GSFS
  • David Krischer ’78, Trustee
  • Minsok Pak ’91, Trustee
  • Michael Parkin, Professor of Politics
  • Charles Peterson, Associate Professor of Africana Studies
  • Nick Petzak, Director, Fellowships and Awards
  • Meredith Raimondo, Vice President and Dean of Students
  • Greg Ristow ’01, Assistant Professor of Conducting, Director of Vocal Ensembles
  • Renee Romano, Robert S. Danforth Professor of History, Professor of Comparative American Studies, and Africana Studies, and Chair of History
  • Alexa Still, Associate Professor of Flute
  • Peter Swendsen ’98, Associate Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts, Chair of TIMARA
  • Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings, Vice President of Finance and Administration
  • Joe Vitale, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Natalie Winkelfoos, Associate Vice President for Athletics Advancement and Delta Lodge Director of Athletics & Physical Education
  • Jeff Witmer, Professor of Mathematics
  • Janet Wu, Class of 2020