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Mills College in Oakland chooses new president

January 20, 2011 |  3:26 pm

Alecia A. DeCoudreaux, new president of Mills College Mills College, the Oakland campus with a women-only undergraduate program, has hired an attorney and business executive to be its next president, officials announced Thursday. Alecia A. DeCoudreaux, who is vice president and deputy general counsel at Eli Lilly and Co. and has been active in women’s education issues nationally, will become Mills’ leader July 1.

DeCoudreaux succeeds Janet L. Holmgren, who has been president of Mills since 1991, one year after a student revolt helped reverse a decision that would have made the college a fully coeducational school. Mills now enrolls about 950 women undergraduates and about 600 men and women in its graduate programs. In an interview Thursday, DeCoudreaux said she would not have taken the new position if there was any chance its trustees might again try to make Mills' undergraduate program coeducational. 

DeCoudreaux, 56, is a graduate of Wellesley College in Massachusetts, one of 50 women’s colleges in the country, and she chairs Wellesley’s Board of Trustees. She will step down as chairwoman before starting her new job at Mills but plans to continue serving on the Wellesley board. She earned a law degree at Indiana University.


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-- Larry Gordon

Photo: Alecia A. DeCoudreaux. Credit: Business Wire