Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan Status Update, July 2020

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan was released in November 2019. This annual report documents progress on the initiatives stated in that 2019 plan.

President and Provost Introduction

This inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan Status Update comes at a time when our nation is grappling more actively with the ongoing reality of racial injustice than at any time since the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. Since our own arrivals at Colgate in 2016 and 2017, we have engaged in a systematic and rigorous review of the campus and the development of a pathway to a better and stronger future for Colgate. This work has resulted in both a comprehensive long-term plan for Colgate, The Third-Century Plan, and the first roadmap for ongoing strategic work to make campus life and campus culture more inclusive and equitable, The Third-Century Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (the “DEI Plan.”)

The conversations that we have been having with groups of students, faculty, staff, and alumni suggest that so many of us share a common purpose: the creation of a more excellent Colgate, the commitment to being an anti-racist institution, a desire for concrete and sustained action, and a pledge to establish accountability for the University’s intentions. Such alignment is deeply encouraging.

The DEI Plan was informed, first, by a comprehensive external review of the University’s campus climate in 2016–17. The actual plan was created through the tireless work of more than 70 faculty and staff members over two years. The DEI Plan was adopted by the University in November 2019. This Plan presents a long-term roadmap for Colgate to achieve true excellence — excellence that has as its foundation a respect for a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds, a commitment to equity at all levels, and a passion for the transformative power of a liberal arts education. The plan calls for fundamental and significant changes in our hiring and admission, staff support, and student residential and social life practices as well as dozens of other first steps on the path to becoming a better university. One of the Plan’s major recommendations is to hire a Chief Diversity Officer, and that national search is actively moving forward, despite the pandemic.

There is now an eagerness, which we share, for quick solutions, and as this update shows, some meaningful first steps have been taken. But we know — not only from our work on this campus, but also from our time on other campuses — that true change, the core change to which we have dedicated our professional and personal lives, can only come from the intense, sustained, rigorous work that planning and implementation require. It will demand the joint dedication of the faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, alumni bodies, and University administration in the years ahead. This is why both of us, in our early years as members of this community, worked through our University governance systems to develop plans that can guide Colgate forward.

As a recent Maroon-News article makes clear, and as Colgate’s more recent history demonstrates, creating a more inclusive campus cannot be accomplished simply through administrative reaction to individual incidents. In Colgate’s history, these moments of “event and reaction” have only resulted in — as the Maroon-News noted — a repeated cycle in which the University’s culture does not significantly change or improve. This cycle denies Colgate the opportunity to forge systemic, sustained, and meaningful change. This is why, as we arrived a few years ago, we committed ourselves to leading Colgate to a new pathway forward. We committed ourselves to the engagement of all constituencies of the University, to robust debate of our aims, and to the development of a clear, measurable set of actions as part of a public plan.

It is important to note here that the faculty have themselves been involved in their own work of discernment, commitment, and planning, as reflected in their work on the review of Colgate’s core curriculum. On July 6, the Core Revision Committee, consisting of faculty from across academic disciplines, released a draft of a revised Liberal Arts Core Curriculum, titled Diverse Perspectives, Inclusive Communities: A Core for Colgate’s Third-Century, for consideration by the entire faculty in fall 2020. A stated goal of this new core is to “align the faculty-driven core curriculum with the institutional mandate of the 2019 DEI Plan.” The faculty will take up this proposal in this academic year and engage in the very challenging work and necessary discussion that curricular change requires. Our responsibility — again as President and Provost — is to support the faculty as they take up this work and consider change through their faculty processes.

Ultimately, our work must be embedded in University planning and governance in order to fulfill our shared commitment to an equitable, inclusive, anti-racist, truly excellent Colgate. It also requires ongoing accountability. Accordingly, this University Report will be issued annually to hold all of us accountable to the goals set forth in both plans, to allow us to chart our progress, and to update our plans as the context changes.

In the year ahead, we will — as part of our commitment to sustained work — bring back to the faculty, the Board, the Alumni Council, and the administration, both The Third-Century Plan and the DEI Plan. We must ensure that the plans stay relevant. Are they bold enough? Are they still relevant? How can we do more? These are the questions that we must continually strive to answer, not just in the current moment, but for the foreseeable future.

Section I. Foundational DEI Structure

Colgate’s efforts to become a more equitable and inclusive community must be reframed, once and for all, as part of the ongoing work of the University. This requires the identification of resources, regular reports to the campus, and communication to external constituencies on the DEI work in which the University is engaged. It will also require that every division of the University be held accountable for moving these efforts forward.

Initiatives

Completed

  • Contracted with the search firm Witt Kieffer in February 2020 to secure a leader for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts
  • Convened search committee, which is chaired by President Casey
  • Identified and renovated office suite for CDO and other DEI practitioners

Next Steps

  • Create DEI Coordination Group, charged with ensuring legal and regulatory compliance and consortial commitments in relation to diversity, equity, and inclusion, broadly considered
  • Create DEI Advisory Group, made up of DEI practitioners from across campus and charged with overseeing day-to-day operations pertaining to the implementation of DEI initiatives and providing a network of mutual support for fellow DEI practitioners

Completed

  • Published this report to reflect, openly and transparently, both the progress made and the challenges faced in implementing elements of the DEI Plan

Next Steps

  • Develop reporting structures and feedback mechanisms in order to revise and update the DEI Plan as necessary

Completed

  • Continued ongoing Intergroup Dialogue training, from which Colgate has benefited in recent years — acknowledging that the length of training required may be an impediment to broader adoption

Next Steps

  • Broaden the opportunities for members of the community to develop their capacity to engage constructively across differences

Completed

  • Secured $500,000 for the Henry Livingston Simpson Endowed Fund for DEI Initiatives
  • Received $250,000 for immediate DEI programming

Next Steps

  • Identify programming, including speakers and other campus initiatives

Completed

  • Identified needed changes to the Student Handbook as well as Equity Grievance Process (EGP), Student Organization, and Social Hosting policies.

Next Steps

  • Continue review of all policies

Completed

  • Completed external review of EGP

Next Steps

  • Revise policy with enriched options for responding to incidents and expansion of possibilities for restoration and meaningful resolution
  • Align new policy with new federal regulations
  • Communicate new policy and regulatory environment

Completed

  • Enrolled the largest domestic multicultural class in Colgate history: 201 students
  • Joined Questbridge, expanded partnerships with community-based organizations, developed Native American recruitment plan, increased travel to schools on the U.S. High-Poverty High School List.
  • Rolled out No-Loan Initiative
  • Admitted the most racially diverse incoming class in Colgate history
  • Launched programming specifically for prospective first-generation students and students of color

Next Steps

  • Recruit and admit the first Questbridge cohort
  • Develop virtual programming to reach more prospective students

Completed

  • Drafted language to reflect the important role that student organizations can play in shaping the climate of the campus and the experience of students

Next Steps

  • Collaborate with student organizations in incorporating these goals into their operations

Completed

  • Secured funding to support expanded CLTR programming to help faculty incorporate DEI into their courses

Next Steps

  • Work with faculty to identify relevant speakers, programs, and other workshops

Completed

  • Hired replacement for Lynn Waldman, director of Academic Support and Disability Services
  • Completed review of Academic Support and Disability Services

Next Steps

  • Update 2009 catalog of non-ADA compliant buildings
  • Plan for phased resolution of known accessibility issues

Next Steps

  • Broaden ability for staff to take time for DEI efforts to improve campus
  • Communicate new protocol to departments and work with them to implement a structure that will allow staff to spend some time on DEI initiatives
  • Work with departments regarding reassignment of work responsibilities for staff who want to work on larger scale projects (for example, the Colgate History Project)

Completed

  • Embedded DEI as a technical competency in the performance improvement process

Next Steps

  • Communicate and educate supervisors on DEI competency and its evaluation and assessment
  • Develop more ways for staff to be involved in DEI efforts

Completed

  • Deployed online training to 26% of employees with 91% completion rate

Next Steps

  • Develop in-person training for new employees
  • Develop other in-person training that goes beyond the online training for all employees

Completed

  • Planned for Spring 2020 but global pandemic limited opportunities

Next Steps

  • Offer professional development opportunities by division
  • Develop application process if division lacks funding for opportunities

Completed

  • Launched August 2019
  • Began developing a comprehensive plan for ensuring and promoting a climate of inclusion, empathy, and support for all members of PERA; addressing underrepresentation in faculty and staff positions; and fostering an equitable and supporting environment for all student-athletes
  • Developed DEI programming for PERA

Next Steps

  • Seek input and feedback for draft PERA DEI plan
  • Finalize PERA DEI plan

Completed

In most departments, drafted initial DEI goal statements, which can be found after this status update

Next Steps

  • Complete initial DEI goal statements from all departments
  • Refine and revise statements and share across departments to create shared sense of vision

Next Steps

  • Conduct robust staff exit interviews in consultation with the Staff Affirmative Action Oversight Committee
  • Develop an online exit survey tool for exiting staff
  • Refine student exit interviews in order to better understand their reasons for leaving the University

Completed

  • Created the Alumni of Color (AOC) Third-Century Endowed Fund to provide resources for programs that enable alumni and students of color to connect both on and off campus
  • Raised $91,263 toward the $100,000 goal for the AOC Third-Century Endowed Fund

Next Steps

  • Establish a working budget for Mosaic
  • Develop more programming that brings alumni of color back to campus

Section II. Equity in the Student Experience

Given the remarkable potential of every student admitted to Colgate, the University must ensure that every student has equal access to the opportunities afforded on this campus. This includes every academic track, various forms of University housing and dining, and desirable spaces for social hosting. Inequitable access undermines the University’s goals of academic excellence and its sense of shared community.

Initiatives

Completed

  • Administered HEDS Sexual Assault Survey
  • Shared survey results with appropriate offices

Next Steps

  • Use quantitative data from the HEDS Sexual Assault Survey and the stories shared by survivors through various channels to develop programs for preventing sexual violence
  • Analyze survey data with Haven and the expanded Office of Equity and Diversity to develop programming options for the campus

Completed

  • Continued to offer students online counseling sessions with counselors of color as the demand for such counselors exceeds Colgate staff availability

Next Steps

  • Continue support of online counseling with counselors of color

Completed

  • Opened Raider of Color Connect Lounge for studentathletes of color
  • Sent representatives (four administrators and three student-athletes) to Black Student-Athlete Summit
  • Hosted conversations with coaches and studentathletes about racial injustice
  • Incorporated more diverse in-venue talent and features, including, but not limited to, emcees, halftime performances, and public address system reads
  • Celebrated national holidays, such as Black History Month, throughout venues, on social media platforms, website, and other channels

Next Steps

  • Develop ways for student-athletes to provide feedback regarding their experiences and facilitate better relationship-building with administrators
  • Develop and implement an athletics marketing strategy that fosters an inclusive gameday experience at all competition venues

Completed

  • Expanded training and development opportunities to support all community leaders in building community among diverse students

Next Steps

  • Assess future initiatives that relate to the work of community leaders, and engage more systematically with them before adopting future proposals

Completed

  • Expanded programming designed to help students from historically underrepresented groups to thrive
  • Appointed new director

Next Steps

  • Continue to provide meaningful support to students and develop ways to improve support

Completed

  • Raised $104,000 in current spending funding for the OUS discretionary fund
  • Established goal to increase fundraising activity for this fund (for either current-year spending, or endowment)

Next Steps

  • Identify resources to endow the emergency student aid fund
  • Continue yearly efforts to ensure that this fund has adequate funding to support the students who need support

Next Steps

  • Create online resource materials for our international community (including faculty, students, and staff) as regulations evolve
  • Schedule more time during the 2020–2021 academic year with the immigration attorney who has supported campus community members in the past

Next Steps

  • Pilot a subsidy system in the 2020–2021 academic year — funding already identified
  • In coordination with administrative deans, identify students for the pilot on the basis of challenges and financial need

Completed

  • Wrote a parent guide from an equity perspective, including considerations for first-generation students and families and others who may be less familiar with terminology and experiences at a small, private liberal arts college

Next Steps

  • Develop a plan for expanding social-space options available to all student groups, equal or superior in equipment and outfitting to the facilities now available

Completed

  • Raised $10.1M in endowment for financial aid

Next Steps

  • Develop ambitious financial aid fundraising goals to increase Colgate’s ability to offer admission to diverse students

Section III. Diversification of Faculty and Staff

Colgate continues to struggle to recruit a diverse faculty and staff. A lack of diversity in the University’s employees can undermine students’ sense that Colgate is a welcoming place for those from historically underrepresented groups. It can also hinder efforts to retain employees from these backgrounds. To the extent that students may more frequently turn to faculty and staff with whom they identify for support, this can also lead to an inequitable (and often unrecognized) load of labor on those faculty and staff.

Initiatives

Completed

  • Hired 13 racially/ethnically underrepresented persons out of 34 tenure-stream searches since academic year 2017–2018
  • Joined Consortium for Faculty Diversity (CFD)
  • Hired Jessica Davenport and Taryn Jordan as first CFD post-doctoral fellows

Next Steps

  • Continue to build diverse pools of applicants for faculty positions

 

Completed

  • Began enhanced review of all searches requiring increased documentation for selection and more active engagement by search committee members
  • Improved education and communication about the University’s affirmative action obligations, the challenges we face in addressing underutilization, and also the divisions’ responsibilities in regard to staff searches

Next Steps

  • Develop plans for departments with underutilization of staff from historically underrepresented groups
  • Create instructional materials based on inclusive hiring protocols developed by the Staff Affirmative Action Oversight Committee
  • Deploy bias training as part of the protocol for all searches
  • Identify barriers to recruiting candidates from outside of a 20-mile radius of Hamilton for positions primarily recruiting from that area
  • Establish partnerships with a variety of workforcedevelopment organizations in Central New York, especially those organizations working with diverse populations and veterans
  • Consider an apprenticeship program, which could expand the recruitment area by providing a pathway to more rewarding careers at Colgate
  • Develop athletics-specific recruitment plan that builds robust and diverse pools, given the diversity of the students that PERA serves

Next Steps

  • Create professional development plans for employees in middle-management positions, especially women and people of color, to include intentional, personalized onboarding, clarity of role and expectations, and short-term Colgate career trajectory
  • Develop and launch a career pathways program to address the challenges that staff from historically underrepresented groups have often had in building longer-term careers at Colgate

Section IV. Retention and Development of Diverse Faculty and Staff

It is not enough for the University to recruit a diverse faculty and staff. It must also provide pathways for members of underrepresented groups (most notably, faculty and staff of color) to advance in their careers.

Initiatives

Completed

Joined National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), which offers professional development, training, and mentoring for faculty members and postdocs

Next Steps

  • Continue to communicate NCFDD benefit to faculty
  • Begin in-depth analysis of the retention of faculty of color in order to better understand the ways in which to better support their professional lives

Completed

  • Began construction of Chenango Hill homes, which will expand the selection of available housing in Hamilton

Next Steps

  • Develop enhanced guidelines for casual-wage hiring to include careful consideration of whether these arrangement serve the employees and institution well
  • Review long-term casual wage positions to determine if they should be transformed into benefitted staff positions
  • Create new employee status for long-term casual wage staff

Completed

  • Defined paid break time for new mothers who need to nurse or breast pump and provided a list of rooms suitable for lactation across campus as well as protocols for ensuring availability
  • Via updated list of lactation locations, identified buildings that do not offer appropriate spaces as well as spaces available in nearby buildings

Next Steps

  • Continue to work to broaden the list of options

 

Section V. Campus Culture and Communication

What we say matters. In addition to ensuring that the University’s policies are equitable through regular review, University communications, both internal and external, should reflect our commitment to inclusivity and equity. Every employee should be well-prepared for supporting the University’s mission of living and learning in a diverse community and should understand this is crucial for their work at Colgate.

Initiatives

Completed

  • Drafted bias incident log for the purpose of recording, without any personally identifiable information, a descriptive summary of bias-related incidents on campus

Next Steps

Deploy and communicate the bias incident log to the Colgate community

Completed

  • Approved the addition of 11 DEI-related questions to the senior survey, which will be administered every three years
  • Developed and delivered annual harassment training for all employees

Next Steps

  • Consider two additional question sets for rotating senior survey use
  • Administer to faculty, staff and students the HEDS DEI Campus Climate survey
  • Review and assess campuswide programming and events designed to support inclusiveness and cultural competency, including assessing impact

Completed

  • Convened DEI working group for Greek Life, orientation, and Colgate Conversations
  • Surveyed all fraternity and sorority members regarding DEI efforts for students
  • Established the Mat at Parker Commons as a popular social space for a diverse range of student organizations
  • Established a food security working group in response to the Class of 2019 senior survey results
  • Expanded satellite hours for Counseling and Psychological Services to include Office of Undergraduate Scholars (OUS)
  • Identified and created a dedicated Muslim prayer space on lower campus

Next Steps

  • Analyze results from Greek Life survey and develop suggestions based on that survey
  • Conduct a comprehensive gender-equity review of programs in PERA
  • Implement new Class of 2024 orientation programming focused on DEI issues

Completed

  • Launched new website that exceeds accessibility standards while more accurately reflecting diversity at Colgate and the University’s DEI commitment

Next Steps

  • Develop a repository of resources reflective of the strongest diversity and inclusion work being done today on college campuses and elsewhere
  • Continue to work on making all online content fully accessible

Completed

  • Adjusted University purchases towards a more competitive bid process
  • Provided free menstrual products in bathrooms around campus

Next Steps

  • Publish an online map of gender-inclusive restroom facilities across campus
  • Continue the practice of installing gender-inclusive restrooms in new buildings
  • Analyze recent requests for accommodations in order to understand departmental fiscal concerns and plan for more centralized response
  • Compile resources for purchasers across campus to assist them in identifying, considering, and using minority- and women-owned businesses

Completed

  • Created the Alumni of Color (AOC) Third-Century Endowed Fund to provide resources for programs that enable alumni and students of color to connect both on and off campus
  • Compiled demographic data regarding alumni participation to better understand current levels of engagement in alumni programming and giving (as an important marker of engagement with the University)

Next Steps

  • Identify and invite Colgate alumni of color holding PhDs to engage with Colgate’s campus community through lectures and visits

Section VI. Responsiveness

To the extent that the challenges of living in a diverse community will continue to be felt keenly by members of our campus community, Colgate must do a better job of responding with commitment and compassion when failures of equity and inclusion do harm to community members. This will require not only better support for those employees who already play this role, but also an exploration of new models that can undermine the current sense, so often expressed, that the University is incapable of responding well to such harms. Students, faculty, and staff must also have access to avenues that allow them to express their concerns without fear of retaliation or loss of control.

Initiatives

Next Steps

  • Assign appropriate Cabinet member to work with student affinity groups until CDO arrives on campus
  • Arrange conversations with affinity groups with appropriate Cabinet members
  • Solicit student input on CDO search 

Completed

  • Completed external review of Equity Grievance Process (EGP

Next Steps

Next Steps

  • Revise policy with enriched options for responding to incidents and expansion of possibilities for restoration and meaningful resolution
  • Identify and publicize avenues of response for members of the community who experience bias but do not wish to immediately avail themselves of the EGP
  • Engage in tabletop exercises akin to those conducted by the Emergency Operations Center with the goal of rapidly responding when bias incidents are reported
  • Identify and provide resources and support for PERA staff who frequently serve as advocates and/or safe haven for student-athletes of color 

Moving Forward

Colgate’s DEI Plan will continue to grow and evolve as we work to become more ambitious in our hopes for equity and inclusion throughout the broad Colgate community. The incoming CDO will surely help to guide this evolution, but it must also be fed by all constituencies and all members of our community. Plans for outreach and conversation with campus constituencies were set aside when the pandemic required the emptying of campus last spring, but these efforts will need to be renewed this fall. In the 2020–2021 academic year, more voices must be engaged if the vision of long-term sustained effort is to be realized. Recommendations from the Board, faculty governance bodies, staff groups, student organizations, alumni affinity organizations, and other groups will be considered and will serve to refine the plan as the context changes. In preparation for the arrival of the CDO, the University will assemble a DEI Coordination Group. The group will be composed of appropriate representatives from each division — individuals selected by virtue of their complementary job descriptions. The Group will be responsible for ensuring that information and policy from the CDO is brought to senior leadership in each division, and that implementation is managed accordingly, given the unique challenges and opportunities in each division. This group will focus on ensuring that the University’s legal and policydriven obligations in regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion are consistently met.

In addition, the University will form a DEI Advisory Group. This group will be made up of practitioners whose perspectives the CDO will regularly need to engage, and whom it would be good to convene in a collaborative space with some regularity. (There may well be overlap in the makeup of these two groups). The Advisory Group will provide a network that will ensure ongoing DEI efforts are well-coordinated, communicated, and planned in the context of overall institutional strategy.

As called for by the DEI Plan, DEI work will also continue to be moved forward through the overall work of advancing The Third-Century Plan, and, in this context, it will be a subject of attention and effort on the part of the Board of Trustees, faculty governance, and University administration in their shared efforts to build a stronger Colgate.

Divisional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statements

The Office of Admission at Colgate University is dedicated to fostering relationships between prospective students, our office, and Colgate community members. Our community welcomes people from all different locations, backgrounds, identities, and ideologies. We establish a welcome, supportive environment and maintain a commitment to customer service while also pursuing equity and inclusion. We counsel prospective students and their families about the admission process to give an honest and accurate representation of the Colgate experience. As a team, we are united in these goals, and we take pride in an ethical approach to admission, holding ourselves and one another accountable; recognizing when change is needed, we strive to grow and improve upon our mission.

The Office of Communications plays a distinctive part in Colgate’s efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. As communicators working on behalf of this community, we embrace the opportunity to inform the broadest possible audience on details, achievements, and challenges surrounding the University’s DEI Plan. Moving forward, we will redouble our efforts to widen that audience and enhance the accessibility of all University messaging. We will ensure that Colgate.edu reflects the University’s philosophy on DEI. We will speak directly to families with limited means to engage with the University and aid in admission efforts to expand the diversity of Colgate’s applicant pool. Within our own office, as we pursue this important work, we will increase the number of minority and women-owned businesses we hire, explore partnerships with national organizations that support underrepresented professionals, and join campus groups that advance DEI initiatives.

The Dean of the College recognizes and appreciates the unique talents and contributions of each individual with whom we work. The division encourages ongoing diversity education and expects our staff to approach this endeavor with a sense of open-mindedness and willingness to experience the unfamiliar with respectful communication. We facilitate exploration, learning, and understanding of identity development and social justice issues, resulting in an inclusive and supportive community where each voice is heard and valued.

The Dean of the Faculty understands that a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion requires intrepid strategies and a bold vision. It is a unique division, consisting of faculty and staff who value the interrogation of ideas while adhering to values of diverse perspectives, identities, and qualities. Upholding the University’s intellectual mission and living out its distinctiveness necessitates a judicious approach to the academic curriculum and student development, faculty and staff hiring, sustainability and world care, and the safeguarding of our collective principles of equity, integrity, and excellence.

The Division of Finance and Administration is committed to supporting Colgate’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. The division contributes to this work in many ways, including by: ensuring that the University has adequate resources for its inclusive programs and initiatives, both today and for future generations; enhancing the inclusiveness of the processes through which employees are hired; and helping to maintain and develop the campus to make it more accessible to every member of the campus community.

The Division of Institutional Advancement is dedicated to fostering life-long connections between alumni and the University and supporting opportunities for engagement for all alumni. We direct the benefits of alumni voices, participation, volunteer service, and financial assistance to support the University’s educational mission and its students, faculty, and staff. We are committed to creating a climate that ensures the staff members of the division are welcoming and supportive of all alumni, regardless of their backgrounds and identities. We embrace the University’s Third-Century Plan and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan and will structure and implement special initiatives and programs that engage and support the University’s alumni of color and develop the appropriate engagement and communication strategies that connect them to one another, fellow alumni, and the campus community.

Vision

To be an inclusive community of competitive excellence

Inclusive: We seek to be a welcoming and diverse association of students, professionals, alumni, and fans in which all people are treated equitably and respectfully, and can contribute fully to our success.

Community: We share common goals, we affirm open communication and civility, we honor the sacredness of each person, we accept responsibility to act for the common good, we care for and serve one another, and we honor our history while celebrating our evolution.

Competitive Excellence: We strive to consistently perform at the upper range of our potential, to get better every day with a goal to win - to win in competition, in the classroom, in the community and in the lives of every member of the Colgate Community.

Virtues

Our virtues are lived values - we are at our best when we are:

  • Thoughtful — Careful, reasoned, inclusive, action
  • Driven — Relentless, energetic, focused pursuit of courageous goals
  • Enthusiastic — Passionate, positive, fun presence
  • Cohesive — Close-knit, collaborative, consistent teamwork
  • Bold — Creative, resourceful, fearless winners

DEI Updates from Divisions and Departments

Colgate’s administrative divisions were encouraged to develop their own strategies and initiatives for strengthening equity and inclusion in alignment with the philosophy laid out in The Third-Century Plan and the Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Some of the details of these efforts are included here, to give a sense of the ways in which this work is moving forward beyond the initiatives reported above. This is by no means an exhaustive list of efforts taking place in departments across the University, but it does give a sense of the variety of ways that departments are working to make DEI an integral part of their work.

Since the November 2019 publication of the DEI Plan, there has been a significant increase in training aimed at Colgate employees, as departments sought to prepare themselves to contribute to the high-level goals laid out in the plan. Some of these training activities are listed below:

  • The Office of Equity and Diversity coordinated online training opportunities for employees working remotely due to COVID-19. Two of the seven programs offered are directly related to diversity and inclusion. To date, 211 employees have completed Diversity: Inclusion in the Modern Workplace, which is designed to help employees successfully work with diverse co-workers by encouraging respectful behavior, reducing bias, and explaining how cooperation can overcome conflict. This course also identifies the challenges and opportunities arising from human diversity and helps employees understand the need for a respectful workplace and the barriers that prevent full participation. Once employees complete the diversity course, they are able to elect to take additional courses, one of which is Managing Bias. This course defines bias, describes how it affects our workplace, and encourages learners to use that knowledge to reduce the negative effects of bias. To date, 39 employees have completed Managing Bias.
  • The admission office conducted training on bias and microaggression. The department also read Professor Anthony Jack’s The Privileged Poor How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students.
  • Professor Meika Loe and Rodney Agnant collaborated to co-facilitate a two-day Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) workshop at the ALANA Cultural Center for 24 Colgate staff and faculty.
  • Three Residential Commons provided IGD training around diversity, equity, and inclusion issues for their students.
  • Several members of the ITS staff attended two EDUCAUSE webinars: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Moving from Talk to Action ‘ and ‘What Is DEI? How Can I Be a Better Ally?
  • ITS partnered with Professor Maura Tumulty, associate provost for equity and inclusion, and Tamala Flack, executive director for equity and inclusion, to hold two sessions on Task-Irrelevant Cognition | Challenges to Effective Evaluation. Six of the participants were outside of the ITS department; nine participants were ITS staff.
  • In November 2019 and January 2020, the library faculty and staff participated in diversity, equity, and inclusion training sessions with a goal of ensuring that their area provides a welcoming and respectful environment for all users. The sessions were led by Tamala Flack (11/2019; 1/2020), Professor Maura Tumulty (1/2020), and Kerra Hunter, assistant dean and director of international student services (1/2020). These sessions should provide the tools needed for cultural competence and increase awareness of our inherent biases.
  • In February 2019, the Oberlin Group of Libraries Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion hosted Operationalizing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, presented by Alexia Hudson-Ward of Oberlin College. This webinar, created for directors, was an engaging session and conversation to help member libraries organize their thinking within their respective institutions around five areas of impact in DEI used at Oberlin College: people, collections, spaces, facilities, and services. The session was recorded and made available on demand for all Oberlin Group librarians and staff.
  • The Campus Programming Committee, led by Marsha Collett, Odette Rodriguez, Pamela Gramlich, Vicki Coates, and Rodney Agnant, co-facilitated a retreat in which 20 staff members attended sessions exploring event planning, diversity, accessibility, intersectional analysis, DAR and assessment, student support in crisis, and staff self-care.
  • The Dean of the College Division arranged a campuswide lecture and several smaller sessions with Professor Anthony Jack.
  • The Dean of the College Division also hosted a halfday professional training, led by Professor. Arlene Kanter, on disability and higher education and an all-day retreat on DEI, partnering with the firm Third Settlements.
  • Student Health Services (SHS): Women’s studies, LGBTQ+ Initiatives, and SHS organized and sponsored a transgender terminology presentation, increasing collaborative efforts with Tiffany Lane, director of LGBTQ+ initiatives, to improve SHS intake forms, reception and exam rooms, patient messaging, and advertising as it relates to SHS’ commitment to improving the delivery of care to LGBTQ+ and marginalized students.
  • The monthly Thrive Brown Bag Lunch series, offered to members of the community, sought to increase self-care and improve the self-concept of students while exposing them to topics that disproportionately affect students with marginalized identities. These lunches were inspired by the Equity in Mental Health Framework, which identified spaces for self-care and mental health programming as essential to the wellbeing of students of color. Attendance averaged 15–20 participants per lunch, often including staff and faculty. This year’s topics included setting your own agenda, self-care and privilege, and the power of storytelling.
  • In collaboration with the Center for Women’s Studies, counseling and Haven launched a programming initiative titled Radical Fat Politics, featuring Caleb Luna (Anti-Racist Fat Politics) and Sonya Renee Taylor (Raising a RACHUS). When discussing DEI focus areas, body size and shame are routinely left out of the conversation, as though these harms don’t exist. The speakers demonstrated to our students that body shame and weight discrimination are behaviors rooted in racism, ableism, and classism.
  • Campus Safety and Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Management staff played significant roles in the Dean of the College Division DEI planning and working groups, with special focus in foundational structure, equity in student experience, campus culture and communications, and responsiveness. As in previous years, Campus Safety staff members served on the Bias Response Team and IGD Initiatives Council. Additionally, safety staff were active participants in DEI-related brown bags, Colgate Conversations, and professional development opportunities throughout the year. Campus Safety and Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Management staff also all completed a month long training on DEI, including, but not limited to, diversity and inclusivity awareness, managing bias, building a supportive community, and taking action to bridge community, and diversity and identity in disabilities.
  • The ALANA Cultural Center, within the Dean of the College Division, hired three students who, serving as social justice peer educators, led monthly workshops for their fellow students on topics such as storytelling and social justice 101.
  • In Haven, Tracia Banuelos facilitated two workshops surrounding DEI work for professional staff and created an intersectionality 101 training for the bystander intervention interns. First, she presented the workshop Approaching Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Living Intersectionally at the Third-Century Campus Programming Committee retreat in August 2019, and then she offered a more informal workshop, The Uses of Anger, by Audre Lorde, with counseling center staff.
  • The Dean of the College Division has engaged in multiple diversity-related training sessions, including IGD and Safe Zone. The division has also partnered with colleagues in the Dean of the Faculty Division for meet-and-greets/mix as well as combined Safe Zone trainings.

The Dean of the Faculty Division has overseen the hiring of a diverse cohort of faculty from underrepresented groups through active recruitment and target-of-opportunities. Since the academic year 2017–2018, the division has made 13 diverse tenure-stream hires (out of 34 total tenurestream hires in that period) in the following departments and programs: Africana and Latin American studies (2); art and art history; economics; educational studies; English; mathematics; physics and astronomy; theater; and women’s studies. Of the hires made last year, five of 10 were people of color (including international hires); five of 10 were women, with one hired into chemistry — a predominantly male department.

University Museums staff have been considering questions of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in the museums’ space. In the early spring, the museums hosted a museum conversation on museums’ accessibility for people with sensory disabilities such as blindness. The outcome of that discussion has been to create alternative tags for images in the museums database. These are descriptions of an image for those who cannot see it. Student interns have undertaken the descriptive work, which will eventually be put into the permanent collections database.

On questions of diversity and race, the longstanding public posture of museums as neutral, apolitical, universally accessible spaces has, in recent years, come under question and the University Museums staff has begun to attend to these critiques in the Colgate context. Both the Longyear and the Picker are addressing ways of decolonizing, and the Longyear is also making inroads on repatriating contested objects in the collection. The staff has turned its attention to museums’ obligations to eschew the narrative of neutrality and to work actively to dismantle colonial and racist practices and will be gathering regularly to educate itself more about museums and social justice, using the Social Justice and Museums Resource List as a starting point for learning.

The Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships continues to expand its reach, having worked with 176 student applicants last year, up from a previous record of 136. The office has recently hired an assistant director, who will begin work this summer. One of the tasks before her is to analyze student data, including demographic information. Anecdotally, the office reports that the ratio of women to men applying for fellowships of all kinds is approximately 4:1. The office is also working to engage higher numbers of students of color than in the past, in part through concerted outreach to the OUS program and the First@Colgate. In the wake of these efforts, OUS had three notable results this year: Shamarcus Doty won a Rangel Fellowship; Victoria Basulto received a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship; and Thomas Dunia a Critical Language Scholarship for Swahili.

  • Job Description Analysis: In January 2020, Tamala Flack met with ITS leadership to discuss DEI efforts. ITS requested and received feedback to assess and improve our language in three ITS job descriptions. The goal was to eliminate or minimize language that may keep someone from applying while also developing a diverse pool of applicants. Sarah Curtis, classroom, digital media & events manager, also worked to evaluate language that may often keep women and other underrepresented groups from applying.
  • ITS DEI Workshop Series: Jordan Wenzel, IT support specialist, and Sarah Curtis met with Tamala Flack in April to brainstorm topics for an ITS DEI series of workshops. ITS will be working more closely with student populations to encourage an educational experience that students can take with them when graduating and entering the job market. ITS wants to focus on things to say and things to avoid when faced with controversial conversations — how to answer but not give opinions while keeping a positive, inclusive, and professional relationship. The initial topics include working with international student populations and cultural humility.

The University Libraries developed three strategic directions, completing this work in February 2020. The first strategic direction is DEI. This area is focusing on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of library operations, including collections, accessible spaces, staffing, and services. We provide welcoming spaces for our users, whose differences we recognize and respect.

The Oberlin Group of Libraries Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion also coordinated and offered two lightning-round sessions for member libraries to share specific, practical, and operational efforts to improve the diversity, equity, and inclusiveness of our collections, instruction, cataloging, spaces, programming, staffing, etc. Members of the University Libraries attended these sessions via Zoom in August 2019 and November 2019.

Efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the OCS office have focused on two areas: working with diverse students on campus and enhancing our offerings to appeal to a wide range of interests. With regards to working with students, OCS staff have focused efforts on enhancing the breadth and depth of recruiting efforts for off-campus study programs. These include tailored information sessions about off-campus study opportunities for groups including the OUS/FIRST scholars, students at the ALANA Cultural Center, and international students. The office has also focused on the reentry experience of students after they have studied off campus. For example, OCS sponsored a reentry discussion for returning study abroad students with professors Kezia Page and Susan Thomson, who were joined by DuBois Jennings, from an approved program provider, whose specialty is speaking with first generation and students of color. This gave students the chance to explore identity and their feelings about crossing cultures and then returning to their host culture.

The OCS office has also worked to expand and promote programs with a wide geographic and academic focus to appeal to a diverse set of student interests. In 2019–2020, the locations of Colgate’s own programs included China, Hong Kong, Japan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, and Nepal (although many were disrupted by COVID-19 this year). While the majority of our students still study in Europe, the OCS office is having success in encouraging students to study abroad for a semester in non-traditional locations. Colgate students last year studied in six African countries (Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Tanzania, and Tunisia), five countries in Asia (China, Japan, India, Nepal, and Samoa), four in Central or South American countries (Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and Panama) and two countries in the Middle East (Jordan and Israel). Two newly approved programs within the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium add additional options, including the St. Lawrence Kenya program and the Skidmore Madrid program. The Madrid program in particular offers a focus on intellectual inquiry centered on gender, identity, and social justice. We will continue efforts to expand student access to and awareness of the diverse suite of off-campus study programs so that all students can find the program that best meets their academic and cultural learning goals.

During the last year, to support DEI initiatives and stay true to its mission, the Office of Sustainability has continued and improved a number of programs and practices. The office continued the use of land acknowledgment statements at events, include pronoun usage during orientation for interns and volunteers (S-Reps), and focus on environmental justice in the peer-to-peer Climate Conversations P.E. program. Last year, the office changed the S-Rep selection process with the intention to reduce bias. The office also incorporated elements of social justice and wellness into the new Oak Event Certification program, such as encouraging the support of women and minority-owned businesses. Last year, the office revised the Green Certification P.E. program and intentionally focused on highlighting social sustainability, environmental justice, and the importance of indigenous knowledge throughout the soon-to-be-completed learning module (renamed Sustainability 101). The Office of Sustainability has continued involvement with campus food security initiatives and is prioritizing access for international student volunteers in our 2020 Community Garden reopening plan. Finally, we augmented our successful and long-running Foundations of Sustainability discussion course for staff to include a full week of focus on environmental justice.

Staff in the Office of Sustainability have also been heavily invested in DEI work across campus. Last year, Pamela Gramlich, assistant director, sustainability & P.C. environmental studies, was deeply involved with campus IGD initiatives. She facilitated Colgate Conversations during first-year orientation, co-coordinated the IGD Brown Bag Series, and served as an IGD consultant. The assistant director also co-founded the Colgate Hello Employee Resource Group (ERG), whose mission is to create cross-campus networks that foster an inclusive community. As a current steering committee member for the ERG, she has been involved with planning programs focused on each of the employee behavioral competencies, including DEI. She has also worked with others on the ERG steering committee to create opportunities for employees to engage in anti-racism work, including the creation of the 1619 Podcast Club, and upcoming anti-racism workshops.

This year, Chapel House welcomed a set of African masks and a Muslim prayer board, purchased from Professor Carol Ann Lorenz, into our main art collection. These masks come from Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, and Liberia and are among the first African pieces added to the collection in the last 40 years. It also welcomed new Native American art, starting with a beaded cross made by local artist Sheila Escobar of the Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan. Chapel House is continuing to pursue Native American art. In an effort to introduce the new art to the community, Chapel House held two receptions: one for the set of African masks and the prayer board, the other for the Native American art. These receptions were well attended by 30–40 people each — students, faculty, staff, and community members. In the coming year, Chapel House is planning to expand its collection by adding art pieces on the Mohawk creation story by Mohawk Nation artist John Fadden. By expanding its art collection, Chapel House continues to live out the vision of being a resource for people’s spiritual and humanistic journeys.

As the DEI Plan, released in fall 2019, makes clear, there is much room on Colgate’s campus, and in our curriculum, for initiatives that will help us, as a community, create a truly diverse and inclusive institution in Colgate’s third century.

The core curriculum stands at the heart of a Colgate education as a vital space wherein academically rigorous, profound, meaningful education for systemic inclusion can take place, and — quite critically — can reach all Colgate students. The CRC has worked to craft a revision proposal that features a multitude of opportunities for students to grow as scholars and citizens in their encounters and engagements with the cultural, intellectual, artistic, and human diversity of the world, including the world right around them. To the extent possible, the CRC has inflected all dimensions of this proposed core revision, including the First-Year Seminar Program, with a mandate to expose students to the diversity of perspectives, experiences, and ideas that both energize and complicate global societies and our local world. The working title for our core revision is Diverse Perspectives, Inclusive Communities: A Core for Colgate’s Third-Century.

Inclusivity means embracing, in all of our core classes, wider awareness of the contributions that societies, ancient and modern, from all corners of the world, have made to humanistic, scientific, technological, artistic, and ethical thought and practice. Inclusivity means teaching students in the core about the whole world and the complex, often fraught, histories of global interconnectedness. This may mean learning not only about ancient trade routes and seafaring, but also about the slave trade and the Middle Passage. It may mean learning not only about the aesthetic genius of cultures all over the world, but also about global wars and the millions of people cast into exile in increasingly unwelcoming and closed societies.

Inclusivity means creating the grounds for students in FSEMs and core courses to learn about the wide range of perspectives, beliefs, commitments, capabilities, dreams, hopes, fears, and hidden pains of the people around them. It means confronting the deep systemic legacies of racism in our midst and in our larger societies.

Most crucially, education for inclusivity means using the Core Liberal Arts Curriculum, including the FSEM program, to create opportunities for students to become aware of the myriad ways that privilege, positionality, power, and access create patterns of belonging and exclusion, whether in the spaces and practices of a small liberal arts college or in the broader world. It means encouraging all of us, all members of the Colgate community, to think about who easily belongs and who is excluded, creating ways to mitigate exclusion, and building a real community: diverse, equitable, and enduring.

The CRC will bring a core revision proposal to the whole faculty for a vote in the fall semester of 2020. It is the committee’s hope that the faculty will embrace a revision of the core that foregrounds teaching and learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Multicultural Recruitment Team successfully executed a number of strategies that led to enrollment of the largest multicultural class in Colgate history: 26.5% of the Class of 2024. Colgate has adopted a test optional policy and research shows that this tends to increase the diversity of both admitted and enrolling students. The department has also focused significant energy on expanding its relationship with high schools that have majority student-of-color populations and with community-based organizations (CBOs) that help students from underrepresented groups prepare for college and assist admission departments in making good connections. An admission CBO week is planned as a part of virtual programs during the summer of 2020, and Colgate has signed two additional memorandums of understanding with CBOs. Colgate now regularly works with 20+ CBOs.

Efforts in the Dean of the College Division in the area of services and student support include:

  • The establishment of a food security working group, which, among other efforts, has addressed a need, expressed by the Class of 2019 in its senior survey, to shorten the travel time to the grocery store — a situation that was negatively impacting students who did not have access to personal transportation.
  • The presentation of a 10-hour, three-part seminar on the fundamentals of budgeting, saving, and investing by the Learn to Earn financial literacy project.
  • The expansion of Counseling and Psychological Services satellite hours to include OUS in addition to existing satellite hours established for international students and athletes. Counseling also instituted weekly in-house DEI professional development for staff, with each staff member rotating to lead a discussion or workshop.
  • While COVID-related financial constraints may postpone work, the division worked with the facilities team to create a dedicated Muslim prayer space on the lower campus, better supporting students’ needs as Ramadan moves into the academic year for the next decade.

In the wake of challenging pivots in the federal government’s regulation of visas for international students, Colgate formally joined the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration and signed onto a number of amicus briefs through that organization in support of lawsuits seeking to reduce the negative impact of these regulatory decisions on international students, both at Colgate and nationally.

Greek Letter Organizations created a DEI working group in the spring of 2020 to integrate these ideals into each chapter, their membership, and the fraternity and sorority community as a whole. There is at least one representative from each chapter, with many chapters having multiple students serve on the committee. Understanding and development of the purpose of the group was aided by incorporating IGD exercises in the initial meetings. To influence the work the group will do, the Dean of the College Division released a survey in April 2020 to all fraternity and sorority members. The survey generated 381 responses, equaling 46% participation from current community members. The results of the survey will be analyzed to identify areas of overall need, and each chapter will receive a report of responses collected from their membership. The working group will use the fall semester to prioritize action items for the upcoming year based on suggestions and results from the survey.

This report has already indicated the need for an ongoing and multi-year effort to expand the options for social space available to all student groups in an effort to ensure equitable opportunities for hosting events. Some shorter-term efforts will also be required, however. One project in this vein is the Mat at Parker Commons — a Dean of the College Division project that is slowly taking hold as a viable student organization space for performance and social events alike. In the past year, despite the disruptions of the pandemic, it established itself as a popular social space for student organizations as well as a burgeoning concert venue. In addition to three concerts in the fall, a diverse range of organizations — including Sisters of the Round Table, the Student Committee on Providing Entertainment, Charred Goosebeak, Colgate Stand Up, Brothers, and Masque and Triangle — hosted events in a space that had largely been dark for the last few years.

During fall 2019, seven events were produced at the Mat, while 10 events were tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2020, prior to COVID-19. One of the most notable outcomes of the Mat this year is the diversity achieved in the audiences. On several occasions, 90% of the audience were domestic students of color and international students. Anecdotal feedback from students indicates that the Mat is not, unlike some campus spaces, perceived as a space associated with majority students, and as a result, it does not carry with it any preconceived notions of ownership.

In terms of audience size, the Mat currently averages approximately 125 attendees per performance, with 80 being the smallest turnout and 235 being the largest audience. At a typical show, 80% of the audience will be standing, pressed up against the stage and interacting with the performers. The remainder of the audience has several options for seating on the periphery of the venue. While alcohol has been sold on a couple of occasions, there have been no incidents of drunken or unruly behavior.

At its most recent meeting, the Board engaged in an open and intensive discussion of the need for improvement in Colgate’s overall performance in terms of DEI and expressed an awareness of the need to diversify the Board itself. The Board will petition the New York Board of Regents to allow the membership to expand from 35 to 38 members in order to increase immediately the diversity of the Board. The Board recently formed an ad hoc Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, charged with promulgating and coordinating Board efforts to improve its diversity, operations with respect to diversity and inclusion, and those undertakings designed to enhance both Board and University efforts to advance DEI. With representation from all programmatic committees (Academic Mission and Programs; Campus Life and Programs; University Outreach; and University Resources) the ad hoc committee will report out regularly to the full Board on these efforts at regular Board meetings and as needed. Finally, the Nominations, Governance and Trustee Development Committee is developing and identifying DEI training for the Board.

This program connects multicultural alumni with Colgate, current students, and each other through fellowship and mentorship, with a particular focus on career development and networking. Veronica McFall ’89 is the assistant director of alumni relations who manages the programs and volunteers. The Mosaic news site is a robust warehouse of stories and information that is circulated to alumni twice a year but updated more often by the Office of Communications. Some programming sponsored by Mosaic in FY20 included:

  • More than 200 alumni of diverse backgrounds were asked to provide words of encouragement to current students (international, LGBTQ+, ALANA, OUS, firstgeneration), during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fourteen alumni submitted letters, video recordings, quotes, etc. that were distributed in a weekly e-newsletter.
  • Mosaic hosted an Alumni of Color (AOC) event in Philadelphia, Pa., with Provost Tracey Hucks ’87, MA’90, a holiday party in New York City, and two events to honor the history of Alumni of Color at Colgate, featuring Diane Ciccone ’74 and Jim Smith ’70.
  • During the pandemic, Mosaic and AOC sponsored an online social event that attracted more than 80 attendees.

The Alumni Council is forming a new ad hoc Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and will be examining opportunities to engage under-represented alumni and advise the University on best practices.