ChatGPT 2.03.23

Dear College of Science Faculty and Staff, This week marks the start of Black History Month, on a somber note as we are reminded yet again of the horrendous systemic racism persisting in our country. A Black man, Tyre Nichols died after a brutal beating by police following a routine traffic stop. The episode makes me weep. We must affirm that in the College of Science and at Northeastern University, we embrace a culture of respect, where each person is valued for their contribution and is treated equitably, and where each person belongs. We oppose racism. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination. We strive to have diverse membership and commit to promoting equity and anti-racist policies through education and action.This week also, I visited Mills College at Northeastern University in Oakland CA. In Boston, I’ve been in so many meetings about our merger, planning for students in Oakland, discussing how we might do research there and build out a West Coast Northeastern. And I’ve seen many photos of the campus. But I had not expected it to be a totally beautiful site. 135 acres of quiet, landscaped and wooded grounds, with older, gracious buildings. A newer Natural Sciences building houses most of the Science classrooms and labs. I was told that at its peak, Mills College included around 900 students, most of them not science majors, so teaching lab space is limited, and we will need to be creative and build more as the campus expands. The NU Bound students I met with like the Oakland experience, citing it as a lower key, more comfortable introduction to College than starting in Boston. They would like more research and extracurricular opportunities in Oakland. The Mills College faculty are delighted to have our bright, interested students in their classes. Faculty are relieved that Mills will not close and see that the merger with Northeastern is exciting and positive. At the same time, many faculty have built their careers at Mills, and there is hope for a deep partnership rather than a takeover. The Mills Institute at Northeastern University preserves and advances the legacy of Mills College by supporting female and nonbinary leaders, and empowering BIPOC and first-generation students. In my experience, the merger is progressing carefully and respectfully. Some major challenges remain, including how to transform Mills College at Northeastern into a research university, but overall, this is an incredibly exciting step for our Global University. Please join the celebration of Black History Month events described below, as we emphasize that the College of Science embraces a culture of respect, where the contribution of each person is valued, and where everyone belongs.