Judge halts Mills College merger

Oakland liberal arts university Mills College is arguably one of the Bay Area’s most historically significant educational institutions. Established in 1852, it was America’s first women’s college west of the Rocky Mountains, and in 2014 was the first women’s college to accept transgender women students. To this day, Mills College remains one of only 37 surviving women’s colleges in the U.S.

Yet the school is not just drowning in red ink, Mills College announced it would be closing in March of this year, and would stop accepting applications this year and dissolve in 2023. That death sentence was commuted in June when Boston’s Northeastern University offered a merger deal that would bail the school out — and controversially, start admitting men to its undergraduate programs.

But now even that commuted death sentence has been commuted. The Chronicle reports that an Alameda Superior Court judge has put a restraining order on the merger, halting the deal, and giving a Mills trustee who is suing the school more time to review documents. That trustee, Viji Nakka-Cammauf, is also the president of the Alumnae Association of Mills College (AAMC), and argues the school is not in the dire financial straits it claims.

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