March 29, 2019

To: The Oberlin College & Conservatory Community

From: David Kamitsuka, Chair, AAPR Steering Committee

Subject: Summary of AAPR Work to Date


Dear Members of the Oberlin Community,

I want to share with you the latest information coming out of the Academic and Administrative Program Review and offer some reflections about this period of intensive campus consultation.

On behalf of the AAPR Steering Committee, I want to thank all of you who have taken time to participate in presentations that lay out the areas of recommendation on which the AAPR is focused. More than 1,000 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents, participated in one of three introductory on-campus presentations on March 13 and 14 or the webinar covering the same ground on March 21. We are gratified and energized by the thoughtful and open-minded response at those meetings. You really have captured the spirit of “One Oberlin” that has animated the work of the Steering Committee.

A written Summary of AAPR Work to Date  is now available. For those of you who have not yet seen the initial presentations, this document explains the context and process behind the AAPR, and lays out the areas for recommendation which have emerged over the last six months. For those of you already familiar with the basics, the Summary offers elaboration on the ideas under consideration, and on the sources and significance of the data that has shaped the thinking of the Steering Committee. In many ways, this is an unusual amount of information for an institution like this to share about its operations. But the AAPR has been a data-driven process since the outset, and we feel it is important for all members of the community to understand the facts.

Since the initial presentations, members of the Steering Committee have been meeting with stakeholders, governance bodies, and other organizations around campus, often several times a day, to help explain these ideas, and hear your thoughts and suggestions. This process will help us refine our ideas and enhance the recommendations the Steering Committee will present to President Ambar at the end of the semester.

In closing I want to convey our gratitude for the constructive responses we have received from many of you. Several of you have conveyed to us, in public or one-on-one, that you have never felt better about Oberlin’s future than you do right now. We have heard that from faculty members, staff members, and trustees. One alumnus wrote that he came away from the March 21 webinar so filled with hope and confidence about Oberlin’s direction that he stopped right then to make a donation. That pride, that feeling of momentum, resonates with all of us on the Steering Committee, and it grows out of our shared dedication to this singular institution. Even as we move forward to make the important decisions at hand, let us all take a moment to celebrate Oberlin.