Reporting Terms & Definitions
To facilitate our planning and accessible reporting, the 60+ initiatives previously tracked on a publicly-available spreadsheet are sorted into four categories representing four dimensions of the life of Haverford College and its mission:
Areas of Work and Progress
- I. Student Experience
- Students are at the center of the Haverford experience. Faculty become mentors while staff support students by fostering an educational and living environment that promotes growth and, with that, the fulfillment of every student's potential. The past year has exposed a number of shortcomings in College systems and programming that leave many students inadequately served and/or unable to thrive in this institutional setting and campus climate.
- II. Academic Program
- Haverford offers a highly personalized, hands-on education characterized by student agency and ownership of experience. In the academic setting, this is manifest in the degree to which professors work side-by-side with students to do high-level research in service of developing analytical thinking while pushing the boundaries of each discipline. Because this occurs within an intentionally crafted set of curricular requirements, students can become expansive thinkers and lifelong learners. But it has become clear that such opportunities are not equally open to all Haverford students, either because of institutional barriers to participation and growth, and/or on account of learning dynamics (including misalignment between student and faculty demographics) that leave some students feeling disenfranchised, alienated, and unsupported.
- III. Community Life
- Haverford's focus on student agency extends to stewardship of community life, where student-to-student leadership and mentorship opportunities in myriad areas such as service on hiring and governing committees to experience gleaned through running more than 140 clubs and organizations. The student-crafted and managed Honor Code is designed to encompass both academic and social spheres of life, influencing everything from the spirit of intellectual inquiry to personal interactions as it suggests a path guided by trust, concern, and respect. The past year has brought a rigorous, candid, and necessary assessment of the ways in which community life as it is experienced by many students does not align with longstanding and cherished ideals that find expression in the Code.
- IV. Faculty and Staff Recruitment, Retention, and Professional Development
- Our recruitment and hiring processes are designed to attract talented and highly capable faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and to do so without discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, disability, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic. Once hired, the College is committed to providing effective and targeted professional development and training opportunities. And yet despite such policies, processes, and commitments, not every faculty and staff member is able to access and equally benefit from these opportunities, while others do not find the campus employment climate sufficiently supportive and inclusive. It is also important to note the role and impact of 'shadow service', in which women, LGBTQIA, and employees of color often carry more informal responsibilities than other members of the faculty. In order to improve working conditions, the College has undertaken a number and variety of programs relating to DEI and antiracism. The College plans to expand this work and incorporate such learning into onboarding and career development processes.
Each initiative is tagged and sorted across the following attributes as a way of understanding and conveying the modes of change the College is pursuing in order to generate meaningful and enduring institutional change:
- A. Institutional Structure
- Institutional structure is the design of the College’s many organizational units, and their responsibilities, authorities, and governing relationships, so that together faculty, staff, and students in our various roles can advance our shared educational mission. Our institutional structure must accommodate new and adaptive growth, reflecting the lessons we have learned, changes in our priorities, and the implementation of best practices. We must identify and remedy structures that create or perpetuate inequities, or that otherwise inhibit the realization of our learning community’s goals.
- B. Policies
- Policies are the rules that govern how we manage our learning enterprise, conduct business, enact plans, and interact as a community each day. Policies are a reflection of who we are, the values we hold, and standards of behavior within our community. They must be informed by a cultural awareness that recognizes and embraces difference as a strength that benefits all; that embraces every community member at first glance, and none as a second class-citizen; and that acknowledges the presence and effects of structural racism, which is often abetted by policy itself.
- C. Practices
- Practices are the actions that individuals and groups take, and the choices we make, within the landscape we have created with our structures and policies. Practices often reveal how well we are living out our aspirations. Haverford practices should be inclusive and equitable, enabling each individual to thrive, empowering a diversity of voices, and facilitating inclusion.
Such practices involve more than just our curriculum, though the academic enterprise is at the heart of what we do and why we exist. Across years of intense living and learning in an intentional scholarly community, practices activate the process whereby students come to see their relationship in, and with, the world around them. This is where and how they begin the lifelong process of making contributions to the communities in which they live and work. Notably, a core tenet of Haverford practice must be a receptiveness to changing such practice: change is the only constant-- is always possible, and always necessary.
Reporting Detail within the Report
For each initiative, we have explicitly stated the goal; its fundamental status (completed or underway); summarized latest developments; and provided a timeline for implementation (immediate, short-term, or long-term):
- Immediate: These changes, largely practice-based, have or will be completed relatively quickly.
- Short term: These changes, focused on updating and implementing new policies, establishing procedures, and expanding training and development opportunities, can be made within one (or at most, two) academic year(s).
- Long term: These changes, predominantly structural and requiring budget approval, leadership approval, or regulatory hurdles, will be ongoing or follow an extended timeline (two academic years, at least) for completion.
The initiatives listed in the report were copied from the spreadsheet of antiracism/racial equity commitments created during the academic year 2020-21 and/or the monthly CDO reports to the community during the spring semester. In order to promote clarity and legibility for the benefit of all readers—including those unfamiliar with the College and its recent history—wherever possible, first references to institutional features such as committees and departments include links.