Deep Springs: For men only? Inyo Court will decide

courthouseFor men only?  That’s what two trustees of the Deep Springs College board have claimed in the face of a decision by the majority of the Board to admit women to the college for the first time since its founding in 1917. National media will likely turn an eye on this gender-based, legal issue.

The case now unfolds in Inyo County Superior Court. The dissenting trustees are alumni Kinch Koekstra and Ed Keonjian.  They filed an objection to Deep Springs’ petition to the Court to modify the college’s deed of trust to permit coeducation.

Dave Hitz, Chair of the Deep Springs Trustees had stated that times have changed.  He said Deep Springs founder L.L. Nunn wanted students to train and become leaders in society.  In 1917, women could rarely play that role.  Now, they do.

Hitz earlier said, “Most trustees believe that effective training must include women and men working together.”  An extensive process included input on this issue from hundreds of people before the Board voted.  A transition committee went to work to bring in female students in 2013.

The status conference in Inyo Superior Court is scheduled for June 22. The objections of the two trustees are stated in court documents.  One brief says, “The purpose of the Trust is limited to the education of ‘promising young men.’  The Trustees are legally (and morally) bound to carry out the purpose of the Trust.”  They allege that the Trustees have no legal basis to alter L.L. Nunn’s Trust establishing Deep Springs.

Board members who support coeducation quote L.L. Nunn’s trust which states that they do have the authority to make changes if they would “better carry out the purpose of the trust.” The Trustees point out that changes allowed are not limited to single-sex situations.  The Trustees believe that Mr. Nunn’s expectations were that the Deep Springs education work would “develop”, evolve, and change over time.  That change will rest initially with Inyo Superior Court.


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5 Responses to Deep Springs: For men only? Inyo Court will decide

  1. Trouble May 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    ” Times are changing now the poor get fat ” 🙂

    • sierragrl May 22, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      While I don’t understand the point of your comment, it did remind me of a NPR report I heard a few years ago. A photographer/reporter who traveled through appalachia in the late 60’s, documenting the poverty of the area for concerned senators such as RFK, went back to the exact same communities 40 years later…What he found in 1968 was extreme poverty to the point of some people being close to starvation…he photographed iceboxes and cupboards which were literally bare in many instances or perhaps had a bag of rice. When he went back in 2008, he found the number one threat to the residents to now be obesity. most received food stamps, but the stores close enough to them to walk to sold only processed junk food. Even if they wanted to, and knew how to eat healthy, they didn’t have the means to get the food. Pretty amazing change in 40 years.

      • Trouble May 22, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

        Sierragirl- I was just being a smart ass, but I love your story. Times have really changed since I grew up in the 70’s. When it comes to the issue of this story, it almost amazes me that there are still schools that don’t allow girls. I’m not a big fan of all these equal rights laws and no bullying laws stuff going around. But I do believe everybody should get a fair chance at a education. If they had another school here for all girls , that would be alright in my opinion.

  2. a polarized America May 23, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    “This is a Republican, white, male-dominated world and our women-folk oughta be home where they belong … havin’ kids and cookin’ aren’ meals – the way our graddaddy’s and our God wants it.”

    (obvious sarcasm)

  3. MJA May 23, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    The best thing about college is the woman!
    You can have the rest.



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