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Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

Why did Northeastern University merge with Mills College? 

Our goal was to create a new, one-of-a-kind bicoastal university with a flagship campus on the West Coast to offer a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as lifelong learning opportunities. Mills benefits from additional resources that will enable the college to continue to excel in serving women, gender nonbinary individuals, first-generation and BIPOC students, and others, while Northeastern is able to provide new opportunities to students, faculty, and its partners to make an impact on the world.
 

Will Mills faculty teach at Northeastern after the merger? 

Mills tenured and tenure-track faculty are now part of the Northeastern faculty. Other categories of full-time salaried faculty also are continuing as Northeastern faculty.

Will Mills College at Northeastern University offer undergraduate and graduate degrees? 

Yes. Both undergraduate and graduate degree programs will be offered by Mills College at Northeastern. In the year ahead, the now combined faculty will develop and submit for accreditation new undergraduate and graduate academic programs that build on Mills’ and Northeastern’s strengths and create new educational opportunities for students. We will share information about those programs as they are developed and accredited. 

Is Mills College co-educational now as a result of this merger? 

Mills College at Northeastern University welcomes students of all genders, which the graduate programs at Mills have done since the 1920s. Mills’ commitment to advancing leadership by women and nonbinary people and empowering BIPOC, first-generation, and LGBTQ+ students will continue through the curriculum and through the Mills Institute.  

What happens to current Mills staff in this merger? 

All Mills staff members became Northeastern employees as of June 30, 2022.

How many students do you expect to be on campus in the fall? 

We anticipate that approximately 1,000 students will be on campus in the 2022–2023 academic year. We estimate that the student body will be approximately 50% Mills continuing students and 50% Northeastern NU Bound and N.U.in students.

What is the Mills Institute at Northeastern?  

Building on the legacy of Mills College, the Mills Institute at Northeastern will strive to meet changing educational needs with a particular commitment to gender and racial justice and the advancement of women, gender nonbinary individuals, and communities of color.

It will offer programs and partnerships that support transformative teaching and learning, research, and career development.  

Will Northeastern engage with the City of Oakland? 

Yes. We plan to be a vibrant contributor to the City of Oakland and the greater Bay Area and have already begun connecting with the city, local nonprofit organizations, and educational pathway programs to plan for the future.

We will support local, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses and launch experiential learning programs that incorporate social entrepreneurship and service learning to address local and global challenges. This work will build on Northeastern’s proven track record of collaborative urban engagement in Boston and in all of the other cities where we have campuses. 

Will the Mills name and campus buildings continue after the merger? 

Yes. Northeastern values the Mills College name and legacy and will preserve and enhance the campus for educational purposes for generations to come.

Named buildings and hallmark resources—such as the F. W. Olin Library, the Mills College Art Museum, and the fine arts facilities—continue to be at the core of a Mills College at Northeastern University education. 

Continuing students

How are you helping former Mills College students continue their degrees at Northeastern?  

Over this past academic year, we have been working with these students one on one to map out their degree options at Northeastern. We have assigned professional advisors to help guide them through the process.

We also offered a series of student town halls and support from the Mills College faculty and the provost’s team to make the transition as smooth as possible.

We will continue to support these students in the years ahead.   

Are Mills students able to complete their degrees on time? 

In many cases, students will be able to complete their degrees on time.

For those who cannot due to the difference in degrees and requirements between Mills’ and Northeastern’s curricula, we are covering the cost of the additional time required to complete the degree. 

Is there an increase in out-of-pocket costs for tuition and fees, including housing, for continuing Mills students? 

No. As part of our commitment to supporting the Mills community of learners and scholars through the merger, students received financial aid packages with no increase in out-of-pocket costs for tuition and fees, including room and board.

How is Northeastern supporting Mills’ undocumented students through the merger?

We understand the impact that the merger process may have had on undocumented students, in particular, who deal with complex, sometimes overlapping issues that impede their ability to succeed academically. Therefore, we’re working to ensure a smooth transition for these students by partnering closely with specialized staff from Mills for help. You can find contact information here.  

How is Northeastern supporting students with disabilities through the merger?  

Our Disability Resource Center is working closely with Mills’ Student Access and Support Services to ensure a smooth transition for SASS students staying through the merger.  

For specific accommodation needs on the Oakland campus, please visit the Student Access and Support Services website

Will teaching and student assistantships for continuing Mills graduate students still be offered?

Yes. We recognize that these jobs are necessary to help many students pay for the cost of their education. In fact, we anticipate the need to hire more teaching assistants and student assistants in the coming year because we are projecting that approximately 1,000 students will be studying on campus in fall 2022. 

For students graduating after June 30, 2022, will degrees earned on the Oakland campus be from Mills College at Northeastern University? 

For current Mills students who enrolled after June 30, 2022, the name of the school on the diploma will be Mills College at Northeastern University.

For students who are admitted after June 30, 2022, and matriculate into one of Mills College at Northeastern’s programs, the name of the school on their diploma will be Northeastern University as well as Mills College. 

Transcripts for current students who continue after June 30, 2022, will say Northeastern University, and all the courses taken at Mills before June 30, 2022, will be noted and appear on the transcripts.

Will former Mills College students be considered Mills alumnae if they graduate after July 2022? 

Yes. Mills students at the time of the merger who continue their degree work at Northeastern will graduate as Mills alumnae. The degree will be a Mills College at Northeastern University degree, so these students will also graduate as Northeastern alumnae. 

Faculty

What happens to faculty tenure? 

Northeastern is honoring the terms of tenure of former Mills faculty who held a tenured or tenure-track position or a continuous appointment. We have also offered per-course adjunct faculty opportunities for employment. 

Do Mills part-time adjunct faculty have the opportunity to apply for full-time positions or tenured lines? 

Yes. Any former Mills part-time faculty member is welcome to apply for a full-time or tenure-track role at Northeastern. 

Is Northeastern honoring the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Mills College adjunct faculty union?  

Northeastern and its labor counsel is and has been working collaboratively with all Mills unions.  

Staff

Did Mills staff members retain their jobs after the merger with Northeastern on July 1, 2022? 

All Mills staff members became Northeastern employees as of July 1, 2022, with their current salaries and continuous benefits coverage.

Mills employees will retain their current healthcare benefits for calendar year 2022 and then participate in the annual open enrollment period to choose Northeastern benefits for calendar year 2023. 

What happened to the accrued vacation time of Mills employees as of June 30, 2022?   

Mills employees who became Northeastern employees on July 1, 2022, did not lose any value in vacation benefits and were offered the option to cash out their accrued vacation time upon the merger, if they chose. 

Are collective bargaining agreements and processes being honored? 

Northeastern is working in good faith on all bargaining relationships. 

Are Mills staff members continuing in their same positions since the merger?  

Titles and roles may change in the future depending upon operational and business needs and how the transition evolves. Mills staff who are continuing as Northeastern employees after the merger have retained their base salary and/or wage rates. 

Alumnae

How does this merger impact Mills alumnae, the Alumnae Association of Mills College, and Reinhardt Alumnae House?

Mills alumnae continue to be valued and welcomed as part of the Mills College community, and they have access to the campus and Reinhardt Alumnae House.

Mills alumnae can also receive new benefits that Northeastern offers, such as tuition discounts for additional degrees.

Reunions are already being planned for 2022 and beyond, and the Mills Quarterly will continue to publish. 

Will the entire campus be utilized by Mills College at Northeastern University, or will there still be other partners? 

Before establishing a master plan for the campus, we need to develop curricular offerings and design ongoing and new programs. Assessments are underway to identify renovation needs and new construction options.

Do you anticipate renovating outdated residence halls and building new ones for more students? 

Yes. We anticipate residential renovations and new residential buildings, over time, and will conduct a review of the current buildings to make those decisions. The review will help determine if the buildings need extensive or minor renovation, as well as set out a plan for future growth. 

How will the Mills College endowment be used moving forward?  

Endowment funds from Mills College will continue to be used for the purposes for which they were given to Mills.

No changes will be made in the uses of any endowed fund without communication with the donor or other legally required steps. The investments of the endowments are now managed by Northeastern University and will be spent in accordance with Northeastern’s spending policies. 

How do we continue to donate to Mills now that it is Mills College at Northeastern University? Will gifts to Mills be retained by Mills or go into a general Northeastern fund? 

Your gift will go exactly where you have designated it to be placed. There will continue to be opportunities to support the campus and its programs, students, staff, and faculty.

Gifts to Mills’ Greatest Need are essential to the campus, and undergraduate scholarships are always a top priority. You can select the program or student scholarship that you want to support with your gift and rest assured that your gift will be used for the purpose that you have intended.

Gifts to the new Mills Legacy Scholarship Fund will support women and gender nonbinary students well into Mills’ new future as a part of Northeastern University.

How do I get a transcript from Mills now that you have merged? 

During this first transitional year, you can request your transcript as you do currently. Currently, former Mills students and alumnae can order official transcripts from the National Student Clearinghouse Transcript Ordering Center.  

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