We write with an update on the Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion (SPDI) that has been under review in the Council for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI).
As background: during a two-year process of community engagement (2014-16), the Task Force on Diversity and Community, with representation from all College constituencies, constructed a draft SPDI that addressed four key areas: Teaching and Learning; Student Residential and Co-Curricular Experience; Working and Thriving; and Community Experience. These four areas provided a framework for over 60 individual initiatives that had emerged from a series of community conversations and through the process of presenting various phases of the SPDI to community members.
With that initial process completed, the Task Force gave way to the CDI, which was charged with both detailed planning for implementing specific initiatives and comprehensive revision of the SPDI into a final version. That final document will be presented to the community for review in a few weeks; as a foretaste of that presentation, we would like to report on a few representative initiatives in each organizing category that are already underway.
Teaching and Learning.
- Visible Curriculum Project. Various models are being explored for providing a more navigable curriculum, including easy aggregation of courses focused on diversity issues.
- Diversity Planning and Classroom Climate.Workshop and Seminar Opportunities are being developed for faculty that address pedagogical issues among diverse learners.
- Course Development.Funding from the Provost's Office will be forthcoming for developing courses that enrich offerings exploring issues of diversity and social justice.
- Advising.Led by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, the College is exploring ways to enhance advising for an ever-more diverse student body.
- President's Student Diversity Initiative Fund. Funding has been earmarked for student-originated initiatives focusing on diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Please review the guidelines and submit an application.
- LIFTFAR: Program to Support Low-Income Students. This program is under active construction and funding is being developed for implementation next year.
- International Student Response Fund. This a program of Board-led funding for non-U.S. citizen students facing difficulties due to unexpected events, emergencies, or other acute circumstances, especially those related to complications of new immigration policies.
- Diversity Activism Archive Project. This program of research into the history of activism and historically under-represented communities at Haverford will be undertaken by students supported by summer research funding. Program development is underway and plans for summer, 2017 will be announced in the coming weeks.
- Revised Rufus Jones Leadership Curriculum. This program is active and underway, led by Mike Elias (Leadership Dean & Director of Student Activities).
Working and Thriving.
- New Employee Orientation. Under the leadership of Muriel Brisbon, Director of Human Resources, the College is developing improvements in processes and content for recruitment and on-boarding of new staff members.
- Staff Search Reform. New procedures have been developed to strengthen opportunities for internal advancement.
- Enhanced Mentoring. Workshops have been developed and implemented by Human Resources.
- HR Newsletter. This periodic report on HR-related issues has been developed and is now regularly circulated.
- Supervisor and Manager Training.Workshops are being developed and offered by HR.
- Digital Storytelling Project. A multimodal program for storytelling is being developed and tested, along with workshops for new participants. Several stories are completed; others are under construction from the fall 2016 workshop and will appear soon.
- Reading Rainbow Expansion. Under the auspices of the Office of Academic Resources (OAR), the Reading Rainbow Program has expanded its themes and offerings throughout the year.
- Name Pronunciation Project. Many thanks to those who have already recorded their name pronunciation. Those who have not yet participated may do so by using the Name Coach web platform. Please contact Franklyn Cantor with any questions or to learn more.
- Gender-Neutral Language Policy. A new college policy regarding use of gender-neutral pronouns when referring to unspecified community members has been adopted. Offices and departments are currently working to adjust their documents and websites.
- Day of Community Engagement. Planning is underway for a 2017-18 version of this event that forges connections between Haverford community members and community organizations in the Philadelphia region.
These are among the many initiatives that the SPDI final draft will contain when circulated to the community in several weeks. At that time, we hope that you will offer your comments as we move to the phase of full implementation beginning at the end of this semester.
The Council on Diversity and Inclusion:
Kim Benston, President
Fran Blase, Provost
T. Muriel Brisbon, Director of Human Resources
Franklyn Cantor, Special Assistant to the President
Andrew Eaddy, '19, Initiatives and Communications Correspondent for the Office of Multicultural Affairs
Theresa Tensuan, Dean for Diversity, Access, and Community Engagement; Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs