Conversations to Address Student Concerns About Clinic and Corporate Partnerships

Dear Students:

As we near the end of the academic year and look ahead to Commencement, we know that you are experiencing many different emotions as we continue to witness the tragedy unfolding in the Middle East as well as how reaction to those events continues to play out on college and university campuses both in Claremont and across the country.

At open listening sessions and other events, we’ve heard a range of thoughts from students, faculty, staff and alumni about the College’s Clinic Program and the corporations and organizations we have historically worked with through programs offered by the Office of Career Services (OCS). These exchanges have been informative and have shaped an understanding of the opportunities and challenges in these programs.

VP/Dean of the Faculty Tom Donnelly and I are calling for a meeting on Monday to discuss Mudders Against Murder (MAM) concerns and to seek a collaborative path forward on a new vision for the Clinic Program and our corporate partnerships. Harvey Mudd takes the safety and wellbeing of its students very seriously. We continue to believe that frank, positive, face-to-face communication is the best way to find common ground on complex issues, but we recognize that students have a strong desire for anonymity in this instance. We propose a middle ground. Tom and I are happy to meet privately with two to four HMC students that MAM trusts to represent their interests. We would hold the identities of any such go-betweens in strictest confidence unless we receive express consent that their names can be shared,  and there would be no adverse action by the College against any student for serving in this capacity. We would not ask them for any information on their own participation in MAM or protests on campus, or information on the identities of others who have done so. We are requesting future correspondence from an HMC email account. Our hope is to foster genuine dialogue on the best path forward for the whole HMC community.

As our community looks toward a future version of the Clinic Program and our corporate partnerships through OCS and other programs, we hope that we can find a way to have all student voices represented as part of the Strategic Planning Task Force on Clinic and Corporate Partnerships. We are in the process of confirming the membership and charge of the task force, with the goal of holding a kick-off meeting by May 24. We recognize that there are a broad range of views, beliefs and opinions that bring about a need for this task force at this moment. We are confident that ultimately we can strengthen our community by having dialogue and rigorously contending with multiple viewpoints. We can live up to our mission and values, support safety and belonging, and undergird our civic commitments in a respectful, caring community of scholars. 

We look forward to hearing from students who can meet with us regarding MAM’s interests, and we wish everyone the very best in finishing up the academic term.  


Harriet B. Nembhard, President  
Tom Donnelly, Vice President for Academic Affairs and R. Michael Shanahan Dean of the Faculty