Recent College News
3.26.13 Deep Springs to Hire New Bookkeeper/Office Manager
Please visit the Employment page of this website for a complete job description.
3.24.13 Trustee/Board Statement at Conclusion of Spring 2013 TDS Meeting
The Trustees of Deep Springs College gathered in Deep Springs Valley over the weekend of March 22-24. Many significant decisions resulted from the semi-annual meeting. The Board appointed Prof. David Neidorf to another term as President of the College. Neidorf originally took office in 2008. They praised his service and especially appreciated the efforts he made in solidifying faculty and staff. David Neidorf is now committed to stay with the college until 2017, the centennial of Deep Springs' founding.
The Board of Trustees also re-elected Dave Hitz '80 to another term as Trustee. Hitz currently serves as Chair of the Board and his term was due to expire in October. Board members thanked Hitz for the energy and devotion he has given to Deep Springs as a Trustee. The reappointment of Neidorf and Hitz secures the leadership of the college as it moves toward its centennial. All board members present reaffirmed these recommendations.
David Neidorf also announced to the community that Deep Springs had reached the fifteen million dollar goal for the Endowment campaign begun in 2005. The original closure date was the end of 2012 and an anonymous bequest enabled the achievement in early 2013. It was also noted that annual giving had remained steady throughout the recent economic downturn.
On the matter of Deep Springs' 2011 vote to become a coeducational institution, college counsel Chris Campbell '73 reviewed the legal history of the past eighteen months. The Board and counsel carefully and thoroughly discussed the objections of those contesting the coed recommendation. Following the lengthy deliberations and Campbell's extensive report, the Board, except for one member, approved the following statement:
"We are disappointed with the Court's initial ruling on February 13, 2013, but we accept the Court's decision and will not admit young women to the class of 2013. All of the Trustees, except one, remain committed to the Board's 2011 decision to transition to coeducation. We strongly believe that this is the best policy for achieving L.L. Nunn's purpose for Deep Springs, best for its students both now and in years to come, and the best means to assure the future viability and relevance of the institution. Consequently, we will continue to pursue a legal path to coeducation.
There are several legal theories supporting coeducation at Deep Springs. The judge suggested that we consider them one at a time, so this first decision addressed only the narrow issue of interpretation of the trust. As a board, we are appealing that decision. We are also proceeding with our request that the court modify the terms of the trust. There are other options, but this is where we will begin. We wish the process were faster, but in the end we hope and expect to be successful in our efforts to fulfill L.L. Nunn's goal of educating students who are committed to a life of service and responsibility."
Accolades were extended by the Board to the students, staff, and faculty for their continual efforts to make Deep Springs successful. Finally, the Trustees announced that they will embark with the entire extended community on preparations for a grand celebration in 2017, the Centennial of L.L. Nunn's establishment of the college.
Text of TDS Resolutions
Resolution to Re-elect Dave Hitz to the Board of Trustees
Whereas, Dave Hitz has served with distinction as a board member of the Deep Springs Corporation for 9 year;
Whereas, Dave has creatively energized the annual giving program;
Whereas, Dave has energetically fulfilled an essential leadership role in the capital campaign by devoting many hours and other resources to cultivating major gifts; and,
Whereas, Dave had provided strong and effective leadership as Chairman of the Board due to his extensive management experience in private industry;
Whereas, Dave has the time, energy, and commitment necessary to lead Deep Springs through the upcoming centennial anniversary and capital campaign, and to address the challenges facing the college in the final years of its first century to ensure Deep Springs has a successful start on its second century;
The Board of Directors of Deep Springs Corporation determines that it is appropriate to elect Dave Hitz to a third four-year term on the Board of Directors commencing in October, 2013
Resolution of Continued Support for Coeducation
The Trustees of Deep Springs have carefully considered the purpose of Deep Springs, how best to achieve this purpose, and changes in society since the college was founded. The trustees continue to support a transition to a coeducational body.
3.7.13 Ranch Manager Janice Hunter and Deep Springs College Named National Forest Service Permittee of the Year
Congratulations to Janice for this well-deserved recognition of her hard work on the ranch. The Forest Service nomination letter detailed some of her - and the school's - achievements:
This is a combined nomination for Janice and Deep Springs College. Janice Hunter is just finishing her first year as the new ranch manager for Deep Springs College. Deep Springs College is the permittee for the Crooked Creek and Deep Springs Cattle & Horse Grazing Allotments on the Inyo National Forest. Not only is Janice responsible for managing the cattle operation for Deep Springs College, which includes privately owned, BLM, and Forest Service land, but she also leads the Deep Springs Resource Management Team, the entity that makes recommendations on the management of the Deep Springs College cattle operation. Janice mentors four student cowboys who work diligently throughout the grazing season to manage the cattle on the BLM and FS allotments. The resource management team includes a variety of professionals from universities and public agencies, and Janice has done an outstanding job of leading this diverse group of individuals forward to address the needs of the cattle operation (a significant portion of which takes place on Forest Service land). Deep Springs students, faculty, and staff have provided invaluable support to gathering data for the Resource Management Team and the Inyo National Forest. Through the leadership of Amity Wilczek (the Deep Springs Chair of Natural Sciences) and Janice, a water quality study was conducted on the Crooked Creek Allotment in 2012. This venture that was supported at both the regional and district levels and by UC-Davis would not have been possible without the hard work of Amity, Janice, and the Deep Springs students that helped collect the data and write the final report. (Crooked Creek is a priority area on the Forest for obtaining water quality data.)
Older College News
8.20.12 Eunice Whitney, (1919-2012)
Deep Springs mourns the loss of Eunice McIntosh Whitney, June 22, 1919 - August 17, 2012, who passed away suddenly and peacefully last Friday evening after returning home from dinner out with her family. Eunice Whitney lived at Deep Springs from 1942-1948. She remained a life-long supporter of the college, and continued to be held in great affection and respect by alumni of that period.
Eunice's husband Simon Whitney (DS'19) served as Dean/Director of the college during their residence together in the valley. Her daughter, Eunice Whitney (Beth) Thomas, served Deep Springs as Trustee from 2004 though 2012.
A memorial service is planned for Wednesday August 22 at 2 pm at the Falls Church Presbyterian Church, 225 East Broad St., Falls Church, Virginia. We will provide links to more information as it becomes available.
6.16.12 Jane Breiseth, Wife of former President Christopher Breiseth
Jane Breiseth passed away in Ticonderoga NY on June 16 after a long battle with cancer. She was the wife of Christopher Breiseth and worked by his side from 1980--1983 at Deep Springs while Chris was president of the college.
Jane was born in Ticonderoga, NY, in 1940 and received her B.A. in English and M.A. in Education from Cornell University. She was a devoted mother of three girls, Abigail, Erica, and Lydia, as well as teacher, hostess, first lady and wife. In addition to life at Deep Springs, she was an indispensable partner to Chris during his tenure in academia and public service in WIlliamstown, MA, Springfield, IL, Wilkes-Barre, PA and Hyde Park, NY. Jane considered her greatest accomplishment to be the lives her children are leading. The entire Breiseth family greatly influenced Deep Springs students of the early 1980s and we're deeply sorry for their loss.
05.15.2012 New Class Selected
The Deep Springs Applications Committee has completed review of over 170 student applications for the entering class of 2012. The Committee received acceptances from thirteen students who were offered positions in the class. The new class of DS'12 hails from California, Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, North Carolina, Washington, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, and Mali. As they have since 1917, every student will receive a full scholarship for tuition, room and board. We look forward to welcoming the new class on June 30.
04.25.12 Ranch Manager Fogger Dunagan
We learned recently of the death of Fogger Dunagan on April 15 at the ripe old age of 100. Fogger served as Deep Springs' Ranch Manager in the late 1950s and early 1960s and was beloved by many a DS student. Vern Penner DS'57 shares this rememberance:
Fogger Dunagan was a giant of a man for me not in stature or weight but for those values which have served me well over the past half century. He epitomized hard work and thrift, treated everyone like family and equals, and personified a pioneer spirit which was truly ennobling. As ranch manager and cowboy, he never talked down to any newbie student on horseback nor was he critical of the dumb ass stunts all of us Deep Springers occasionally pulled. His cowboying skills were legendary.
His stories of life in Texas in the early 20th century were as good and authentic as any I've read by Cormac McCarthy. He was not a loud guy even though his nickname came from his early reputation for "foggin up dust." His friendliness and kindness were so big they filled the corral and his modesty was a welcome trait in an increasingly immodest world. He inspired in me a self-reliance that's kept me afloat during a dozen overseas tours. No crisis was too severe for Fogger that he couldn't ease the pain or difficulty with a little infectious humor. I spent my final year and a half with Fogger and, by the time I left Deep Springs, I didn't have many role models. Except for Fogger.
Fogger Dunagan lived 100 years, six months and 16 days and, as a fellow Deep Springer said, "after Fogger was born, they broke the mold." That says it all.
04.01.12 New Staff for the Farm & Ranch
In the past two months, Deep Springs has welcomed two new staff members to the Valley. Janice Hunter arrived in late January to assume management of the cattle ranch and Adam Nyborg DS'97 arrived in February to assume management of the farm operations. Everyone in the college community is pleased to have them here and they have both settled well into their roles as winter has given way to spring.
Janice is not only a California native, she was born and raised in the Owens Valley on the family ranch that extends back three generations. Hunter Mountain, on the edge of Death Valley is a family namesake. Janice holds a B.S. in Agricultural Science from Cal State University, Chico. In addition to her years of experience on the family ranch, Janice has worked as a teacher in the Lone Pine School system and spent a dozen years as a rangeland monitoring consultant for numerous state and federal agencies as well as private individuals. Most recently, She spent the last four years managing the beef cattle ranch at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. After a review of nearly 30 applicants, Janice was selected as the sixteenth ranch manager at Deep Springs since WWII, and the first woman to hold the job. She relates that she's happy to be back working with desert cattle!
Adam is joined by his wife Jill Brewer and their daughters Wenonah and Montana; the entire family having moved all the way from the White Mountain region of New Hampshire. Adam received his B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University. While there, he served as construction coordinator & volunteer at Yale Habitat for Humanity. Adam has worked as an interpretive naturalist for the Appalachian Mountain Club and an Outward Bound instructor. For three years he worked at the White Mountain School of New Hampshire as the Farm & Forest Coordinator and a teacher of chemistry and environmental science. Jill and Adam have made themselves right at home in the community and they have inspired staff and students alike with their devotion to getting around campus by bicycle.
1.04.12 Jack Schaar, (1928-2011), Admired and Beloved Professor, Forty-Year Recidivist as Visiting Faculty Member
John 'Jack' Schaar, a long-time contributor to Deep Springs' academic program, passed away on December 26, 2011.
Jack was a political theorist at UC Berkeley when he first taught at Deep Springs in 1969. He soon began co-teaching introductory summer seminars along with Deep Springs' president Randall Reid, returning frequently to lead summer sessions after Reid moved on. His commitment to Deep Springs over forty years of teaching helped develop the summer seminar into a course that today plays a central role in Deep Springs' curriculum.
Jack's work at the college established the summer seminar's current form as an interdisciplinary team-taught course. His seminars focused on themes of community, authority, and the relationship between society and nature, themes that Jack thought were particularly important in the context of the Deep Springs program. In later years Jack worked closely at Deep Springs with long-term faculty members David and Sharon Schuman, and introduced several of his former students to the Deep Springs' visiting faculty rolls-among them Doug Lummis, Richard Gibbs (now Richard Mahon), and, most influentially, Jeff Lustig.
Jack was a lively and beloved teacher. Students remember Jack for his beautiful, intricate lectures on a wide variety of topics and texts; for his witty, probing engagement with students, and for his twin commitments to careful thought about issues in politics and to deliberate action in improving the lot of humanity. Outside the classroom, Jack frequently shared his devotion to hiking and rock climbing in the desert and the Sierras with other community members.
Jack was born in Montoursville, PA, in 1928, and was raised in a Lutheran farm family. He earned a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles, and went on to teach in the political science department at the University of California, Berkeley, where many of his students were involved in the Free Speech movement.
From 1970 to his death, Jack taught in the politics department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was particularly well known for his approach to American political thought. His publications-in journals and books, as well as in popular venues like the Nation and The New York Review of Books-dealt with questions of authority and loyalty in the modern state, the student movements of the Sixties, and the role of the social sciences in political thought, among others.
Jack is survived by his wife, political theorist Hanna Pitkin, and by his son John.
Jack will be long remembered and greatly missed at Deep Springs.
12.30.11 Deep Springs Links to National Water & Climate Center
The Natural Resources Conservation Service, in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management, has established a remote weather monitoring station above the Deep Springs College reservoir. The station is part of the nationwide SCAN (Soil Climate Analysis Network) system of climate data monitors and feeds hourly information into the National Water & Climate Center. From roughly 1950--2000, students and staff manually recorded weather data on a daily basis and delivered the information to the National Weather Service. This new remote station restores the college's ability to track weather data. If you're interested in seeing current weather conditions at the college, go to NRCS National Water and Climate Center. Select 'California' and then 'Deep Springs 2187' from the site list.
9.19.11 Board of Trustees Votes to Admit Women
At their fall biannual meeting, the Deep Springs board of trustees voted 10-2 to accept women applicants for admission to the college. The resolution adopted at the meeting states:
"The Trustees have carefully considered the purpose of Deep Springs, how best to achieve the purpose, and changes in society since the college was founded. Therefore, the Trustees determine that it is appropriate to plan and implement a transition to a coeducational student body, subject to ongoing board review."
Deep Springs has had an all-male student body since its founding in 1917. The board's vote comes after six months of input from alumni and friends of the college via email, letters and listening sessions at several venues across the country, and capped several days of discussion at the college.
In a letter addressed to alumni and supporters of the college, Board Chair Dave Hitz DS'80 announced the decision and explained some of the process involved. You may read updates about the process or download the Chair's letter, the college's press release, and answers to frequently asked questions by viewing the "Coeducation" tab under "News and Events.".
7.21.11 Deep Springs College Accreditation Renewed
Deep Springs received notice that our accreditation standing from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges has been fully renewed through 2017. The affirmation follows an on-campus survey in March conducted by a visiting team for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, a survey which included thorough review of the college's 1,400 page self-study report developed over the previous two years. Among other findings, Deep Springs received commendation "for a mission statement that not only defines but drives the institution's broad educational purposes, its intended student population, and its commitment to achieving student learning."
7.04.11 Classes Transition from One Year to the Next
Deep Springs turned the corner on another year as we graduated our 93rd class of students. The members of DS 2009 said goodbye to Deep Springs on June 25th amid closing speeches on a portion of Gilbert Pass overlooking the Valley. In addition to the traditional comments provided by First-Years about their departing Second Year compatriots, Farmer Mark Dunn DS'99 provided the keynote address. After Deep Springs, the graduates are headed for Princeton, Brown, Yale, University of Chicago, Middlebury College, and others. Just one week later on July 1st, the twelve new students comprising DS 2011 arrived on the ranch and began their work the very next day.
6.10.11 Deep Springs hosts author Philip Gourevitch
This spring's guest lecturer for the Withrow Chair was award-winning journalist Philip Gourevitch, noted author and correspondent on international affairs. Philip visited the ranch for the past week with his wife Larissa MacFarquhar (also an accomplished writer with New Yorker magazine) and their two children. Philip lectured and took extensive questions from the community on two evenings, while Larissa did likewise on a third evening. Both authors joined the students for ongoing conversations in the Boarding House and around campus throughout the week, reflecting on the role of journalism, writing and biography in the exercise of public discourse on governmental, cultural and international affairs.
6.1.11 Parents Pledge Matching Gift for Fundraising Drive
As part of Deep Springs' year-end fundraising drive, parents of a Deep Springs student have made an anonymous pledge to match all gifts to the college's annual operations fund for the month of June, up to $15,000 total. This generous offer means that all gifts before June 30, 2011 can be effectively doubled. Since Deep Springs charges no tuition of our students, we're very gratified at the voluntary support of parents - this effort will help us close our fiscal year "in the black" and secure the quality of our educational program for the future.
5.31.11 Trustees Award Robert Gatje the Deep Springs Medal
Numerous friends of the college and alumni from six decades looked on as Beth Thomas, vice-chair of the Board of Trustees, awarded Bob Gatje DS44 with the Deep Springs Medal during the Memorial Day Reunion at the college. The Deep Springs Medal is the highest honor granted by the Trustees of Deep Springs. It is awarded to alumni whose lives exemplify the ideals of selfless service and visionary leadership that Lucien L. Nunn sought to advance when he founded the college in 1917. Throughout a long career, Bob has devoted himself to the public interest through the American Institute of Architects, the Committee to Save the Whitney Museum, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, and other cultural and scientific organizations. He has also worked tirelessly for Deep Springs and for the Telluride Association, of which he was president.
3.28.11 Deep Springs College to Review All-Male Admissions Policy
At their March, 2011 bi-annual meeting, the Trustees of Deep Springs College voted to undertake deliberations regarding the question of coeducation at Deep Springs. Deep Springs has had an all-male student body since its founding in 1917. The entire population of the college at any one time averages about 25 students, as well as 20 faculty, staff and community members. With exceptions for emergencies and religious observance, all students are required to remain on the isolated desert campus (40 miles from town) during academic term. Students work every afternoon on the collegeís ranch, farm and facility operations, and help manage the college as a self-governing student body.
This small, isolated community was founded by Lucien L. Nunn as a 'school for young men' that would provide exceptional training for lives of leadership and service. In the intervening 94 years, much has changed in the cultural landscape of America and in higher education, particularly regarding single-sex education. The trustees have formally considered the question of coeducation at Deep Springs on two previous occasions: once in 1979 and again in 1993. Both times, the board vote resulted in no action and the college remained single-sex. Since the mid-1990s the college has successfully renovated its physical infrastructure and grown its endowment despite the 2008-09 recession. From this position of strength, the board's most recent strategic review identified the possibility of coeducation as one of the most important long-term questions for college governance.
For their deliberations, the trustees will review records of proceedings from past formal considerations of the question, conduct listening forums with alumni and friends of the college at selected sites around the country, solicit correspondence and input online, and hold community meetings at the campus. Board Chair Dave Hitz solicited input in a letter to the extended Deep Springs community, the contents of which are below. Following discussions throughout the summer, the board will consider the question formally at their September meeting and vote whether to continue the all-male policy or to initiate planning for an eventual transition to coeducation. Questions regarding this process may be addressed to David Welle at firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter from Trustee Chair, Dave Hitz
March 28, 2011
Dear Alumni and Friends,
In the early 1990s, a TDS discussion on whether Deep Springs should become co-educational ended as the board realized that - coed or not - the school might not survive another decade. The participants quit the debate in a stalemate, set aside their differences, and came together to save the college. Since then, we have rebuilt much of the physical infrastructure of the college, added a new student dormitory, built a solar field, rebuilt a hydro plant, and grown our endowment investments to $15 million.
In light of this progress, and as part of our on-going strategic planning process, the board has decided to spend the next 6 months deliberating on whether or not Deep Springs should become co-educational. At the next board meeting, in September, we will vote on whether to begin planning for a transition.
In past deliberations, as I understand them, the question of whether to become coed was combined with the question of how to do it. This time, we decided to focus first on whether; we will only spend time planning how if we conclude that co-education would be desirable. We agreed that such an important change should require a two-thirds vote of the board.For our deliberations, we plan to review our earlier studies and reports, and we also want to solicit input from alumni and friends of the college. We are looking for thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of co-education, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of being all male.
If you have any insights or experiences to share, please send them to email@example.com or to:
Coed Discussion Deep Springs College HC 72 Box 45001 Dyer, NV 89010-9803
We also plan to conduct listening sessions that will allow trustees to hear from friends and alumni in person. We will use already planned gatherings, including the reunion over Memorial Day and the visits to New York and Washington, and we hope to schedule more. My personal view is that we have two reasonable alternatives. There are legitimate arguments in favor of an all-male Deep Springs, just as there are good arguments in favor of the all-female schools that exist. And likewise, there are legitimate arguments in favor of coed. Both have advantages, and surely also disadvantages. But this is just me. We'll find out what everyone else thinks.
In the past, the cost of going coed has often been the elephant in the room. The exact cost is unclear, but we might lose gifts, might need to replace part of the endowment, and will probably incur facilities costs. To defuse this issue and allow us to discuss what we want to do rather than what we can afford to do, I offer to underwrite the incremental costs of going coed so as to make this decision financially neutral for the college. I do this with trepidation, because I hate conditional donations that attempt to control the college. I donít want to sway the decision; I want only to eliminate the financial concern. I have been a strong contributor in the past, never with strings attached, and I fully intend to continue supporting Deep Springs whether it is single-sex or coed. This brings me to my final point.
To help establish the tone of this discussion, I make the following pledge: I commit to love, support, and nurture Deep Springs, whichever way the coed decision turns out. This pledge may be easier for me than for some because my own views are conflicted - my instincts change from day to day. Still, I hope others will join in this pledge. To keep our deliberation cordial, let us all try to keep our minds open, listen to each other with respect, and restrain ourselves if the tenor slips from cooperative discussion into contentious debate. On behalf of the board, let me again welcome your thoughts and experiences.
Dave Hitz DS'80
Chairman, Trustees of Deep Springs
1.12.11 Deep Springs Ranch Receives Foundation Grant
Deep Springs received a generous grant from The Darling Foundation to cover costs of construction for a new hay shed on the ranch. The shed is constructed of 13 steel towers spanning nearly 300 feet in length - enough roof area to protect up to 400 tons of hay from the elements. Students are providing the majority of the necessary labor, under the direction of farm manager Mark Dunn DS'99, and work is expected to be complete before this summer's harvest begins. (Check our gallery page or our facebook page for photos of the progress). This project is another in a series of efforts the college has undertaken in the past four years to improve the productivity of the farm and involvement of students in farm labor. We are extremely grateful to the Darling Foundation for their continuing support of these efforts, as they have a positive impact both on the college's educational mission and our financial health.
12.05.10 Former TDS Chair Charles Christenson deceased
Former Chair of the Board of Trustees Charles "Chuck" Christenson died of natural causes on November 19th at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Charles was born September 25th, 1930 in Chicago. He received his undergraduate degeree from Cornell University and his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1954. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, he returned to Harvard, completed a doctorate in business administration and joined the faculty in 1961. Chuck was a long-standing member and officer of Telluride Association and served on the Board of Trustees at Deep Springs from 1986 to 1994, ultimately as Chair. He was a staunch supporter and avid fundraiser for the college, guiding the institution through trying fiscal times. Chuck also served as a director with several corporations and enjoyed a long & distinguished career as an economist and professor at Harvard. You can find a full obituary here.