A small women’s college in Oakland, California, that chose to change its admissions policy to include transgender men has declared a financial emergency after its decision backfired. It appears that the few headlines that highlighted the university’s “groundbreaking” decision were not enough to keep the college afloat.
The Daily Caller reported on the current problems facing Mills College, which in 2014 became the first women’s college to allow transgender men to apply for admission, stating that now the institution was forced to declare a financial emergency over its $9 million dollar budget deficit, which represents about 16 percent of the college’s yearly budget of $57 million.
The university made waves when it announced in 2014 that it would begin accepting applications from students who identified as female but were not born female, even if they had not undergone gender-reassignment surgery before applying.
SF Gate was one of the news outlets that praised the university’s inclusiveness. One student at the time, Sonja Basha, said, “I’m incredibly pleased. Mills is the only women’s college that has a policy around gender-variant inclusion,” the outlet reported, adding that Basha “uses the gender-neutral pronoun ‘they’ rather than ‘he’ or ‘she.’”
However, this decision to include transgender men did not translate well for the university’s financial situation.
According to Inside Higher Ed, because of the budget deficit, mass layoffs were expected — even tenured professors may be let go. The college has seen a major drop in enrollment since the announcement of its inclusive admissions policy.
According to the outlet:
“In recent years, applications and enrollments have dropped from prior levels. Consider these numbers from the college’s Common Data Set: In 2013-14, the college had 1,827 applicants, admitted 1,242 and enrolled 217 first-year students. In 2015-16, the college had 839 applications, admitted 639 and enrolled 139 first-year students.”
This was a school that desperately needed male applicants to boost its admissions, and when it tried to veer away from its “women-only” identity in 1990, 16 days of protests challenged the university’s then decision to let males apply.
So the school’s leaders backed down, only to bring up the issue again 24 years later — but this time they were able to disguise the need by appealing to the liberal transgender agenda.
That didn’t work out too well for them, and now the professors and staff will be suffering the consequences.
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