HomeCoeducationUpdate from Dave Hitz, Chair, Trustees of Deep Springs

Update from Dave Hitz, Chair, Trustees of Deep Springs

Coeducation: Is it Possible in 2018?

The Trustees are pleased that the California Supreme Court decided not to review our case. This clears the way for coeducation at Deep Springs. The trust can now be modified to read, “for the education of promising young people.”

The litigation was long and sometimes frustrating. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that a debate spanning five decades should take a handful of years in court. I am proud of the Deep Springs community. The tone during our listening sessions, back in 2011, was calmer, more reflective, and more collaborative than the stories I heard from the seventies and nineties. The mood at the Centennial Reunion was upbeat and happy. Whatever their original feelings on the topic, I think most people are glad to have this controversy behind us. I got a warm hug from Ed Keonjian at the reunion. It’s time for all of us to come together.

Thank you to everyone who participated in listening sessions, gave advice, or supported the process in any way. Thanks also to the legal team that so ably represented us, including lawyers and staff from Baker Manock & Jensen, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, and Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

At the Centennial, many people asked if we could go coed in 2018, a year from now. “Are there facilities changes we need to make? Is it even possible?” To be honest, we don’t know. There has been an injunction against any coed planning for almost five years now. We need to dust off the plans and pick up where we left off. But when the injunction hit, we were only five and a half months from admitting women. We had received many excellent applications. We are eleven months away from July 2018, when the class of 2018 will arrive, so we have twice as much time left now as we did last time. This doesn’t prove that it’s possible, but it’s a hint that it might be. If we can prudently and professionally transition in 2018, then we would certainly like to!

Now it is time to restart our planning efforts. We will keep the community posted on our progress.

As Deep Springs enters its second century, we are well positioned to promote the Nunnian ideals of service and leadership in education. What an exciting time!

Dave Hitz

Chairman, Trustees of Deep Springs