July 16, 2001
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
The Committee on Institutional Diversity and Equity, formerly known as the World Cultures Initiative, has now completed its report. The committee reported to Provost Susan Prager, prior to her departure, and I have had a chance to discuss the report with her and to meet with members of the committee. I am pleased to accept their report and recommendations.
The report is available at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~sli/documents/cide0106.html.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank the committee and the two chairs, Professor Melissa Zeiger and Dean James Larimore, for the extraordinary work they have done. The committee met frequently, often for extended periods of time, to discuss the important work before them. The report is thoughtful and imaginative and covers a wide range of issues — issues that we must confront as a community. Through their commentary and recommendations, the committee has provided important guidance for our consideration.
One of the College's top priorities is to support and enhance the diversity of the Dartmouth community. Dartmouth must sustain a culture of acceptance and inclusion for students, faculty, and staff from all walks of life. Doing so strengthens the educational experience we provide. While Dartmouth has a strong record in valuing diversity and has accomplished a great deal in this area, we have a responsibility to make certain that Dartmouth is a fully inclusive community.
We will engage in community discussions of the issues raised by this report, but there are some things that I would like to implement now.
- Effective immediately, I have appointed Ozzie Harris, the current Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and a Dartmouth graduate of the Class of 1981, to serve as Special Assistant to the President for Institutional Diversity and Equity. In this role, he will oversee our diversity initiatives across the College, will report directly to me, and will serve as a member of my Executive Committee. EO/AA will continue to report to him, and I have approved increased staffing and resources to meet these expanded responsibilities. I expect to work very closely with him to advance these important objectives. I am delighted that he has agreed to take on this role.
- A Council on Diversity, to be chaired by Ozzie Harris, will provide further support for diversity issues. The membership of this important council will include senior college officers, faculty, and student representatives.
- Working with the Board of Trustees, I will immediately initiate a review of the Dartmouth College mission statement to assure that it fully reflects our goals.
- The Dean of the Faculty will review the hiring and retention of faculty of color. He will also explore ways in which we can improve our mentoring of junior faculty of color.
- The Dean of the Faculty will encourage faculty discussion to explore ways in which issues relating to diversity can be even more fully integrated into the curriculum and their teaching.
- The Special Assistant to the President and the Associate Vice President for Human Resources will review the hiring and retention of staff of color and make recommendations on needed improvements in this area.
- The Dean of the College, along with the Dean of the Tucker Foundation, the Dean of Student Life, the Dean of Residential Life, and the Director of Dining Services, will consider programs to enhance diversity and cross-cultural interaction in the residence halls, dining rooms, and social spaces.
- The Dean of the College will appoint an Associate Dean for Student Life to work on diversity issues and will review the organization of his office to determine ways to provide more support for Dartmouth's diverse student population.
- The Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid will review our financial aid policies to see how they can be further enhanced to help all students participate fully in all areas of the College. The Dean of the College will also review the fee structures currently in place for social activities and make recommendations as to how they should be changed to allow for greater inclusion of all students.
I hope that you will join me in thanking the committee for their efforts and that you will work with us to further these important goals. I have already shared the report with the Board of Trustees, and they are as excited as I am by the possibilities before us.