Deep Springs gender case continues


Main building at Deep Springs College.

In the new year, the issue of Deep Springs College going co-ed will remain in Inyo Superior Court. Judge Dean Stout has advised the adversaries in this case to go to mediation on the main issue, but the judge will rule on some issues with court appearances scheduled for February.

Earlier in 2012 Deep Springs College trustees petitioned Inyo Court to allow modification of the college Trust to bring in women to the traditionally all-male, exclusive college in a remote area east of Big Pine. Two trustees objected and went to court to block the co-ed effort. They reason that Deep Springs founder, L.L. Nunn stated the college was for young men and that’s what he meant. All of the other trustees say times have changed.

Dave Hitz, Chairman of Deep Springs Trustees, had said that L.L. Nunn wanted students to train and become leaders in society. In 1917, women rarely played that role. Now, they do. The Trustees who object point to trust law and the literal words of the Deep Springs Trust. Although other trustees say L.L. Nunn allowed for authority to make changes to “better carry out the purpose of the trust.”

According to Court spokesmen, Judge Stout has asked the attorneys on both sides to look into mediation for the main dispute over the Trust language and the co-ed issue. Judge Stout will make decisions on a motion for a Preliminary Injunction to stop the move toward co-education and to join the Deep Springs Corporation with the College in this dispute. Inyo Superior Court has scheduled a status conference in this case on February 8th with possible decisions on motions February 19th.

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