Alumni demand explanation for humanities department eliminations at Adrian College

ADRIAN, Mich. - Michimich -- The Adrian College Administration began this week notifying faculty of plans to eliminate, beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year, the History, Theatre, Japanese, Philosophy/Religion departments. Ten faculty members will not have their contracts renewed.

Word spread quickly among the College's alumni, who formed a private Facebook group called "The Asa Mahan Squad" to investigate and to assess the situation. After four days, the group amassed more than 1,900 members from around the world. The group is named for the Reverend Asa Mahan, the first Adrian College president, abolitionist, educator, and celebrated humanitarian.

The move to eliminate these departments seems to be at odds with the College's liberal-arts mission, which is why the group is contacting members of the Board of Trustees for more information, including reasons for the cuts. The College released a statement last week boasting of its 602-student strong freshman class and stable enrollment of 1,800 students: "The College has had an incoming class of more than 500 freshmen each year for the past 13 years. Graduate student enrollment is at a record level this year, as well."

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"I would like to request the administration provide the specific data driving these decisions and an articulation of how, exactly, the eradication of these programs fits with Adrian's stated mission as a liberal arts institution," says Dr. Jennifer McNabb, (BA, History 94'). "As an alumna of one of the targeted programs and a longtime supporter of the College, I am deeply concerned future students will be denied the curricular depth enjoyed by past generations of Adrian alumni. Training in liberal arts is essential to competent, compassionate citizenship but also career success."

About The Asa Mahan Squad

As the AC Mission Statement is written, "Adrian College, a liberal arts college in the United Methodist tradition, is committed to the pursuit of truth and dignity of all people."  The Asa Mahan Squad wants to do just that: pursue the truth and dignity of all people by questioning what is happening to its Humanities departments. The group is "by, and for, anyone in the Adrian College community who wishes to bring attention to the plan to eliminate the History, Theatre, Philosophy, and Religion departments at the end of this next school year (2020-2021)."

Adrian College website: HTTP://


Alan Gibson, Asa Mahan Squad Page Administrator Ph: (419) 913-8250

Ashley Falcon, Asa Mahan Squad Page Administrator email:

Ashley Falcon

Source: Asa Mahan Squad
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