Amherst College is committed to excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It is critical that all students who graduate from Amherst College have equal access to opportunities for success, and that all staff and faculty are equipped to support a diverse student body, as well as contribute to an inclusive campus culture. We have made strong advancements in our DEI work, and the overarching framework described below will help guide us and hold us accountable as we amplify, align, and ultimately improve the efficacy of that work. Our efforts towards each of the framework’s goals advance equal access to and support for success for a diverse constituency across each dimension of their Amherst College experience.


  • Provide a foundation for the goals, strategies, and objectives for equity work at Amherst College
  • Address the work of the College through the lens of equity
  • Ensure that key stakeholders have an understanding of both the goals driving their DEI work, as well as the measurements being used to determine the efficacy and impact of that work 
  • Amplify, align, and ultimately improve the efficacy of these efforts
  • Work towards equal access to opportunities for success for all members of the community

Description (Goals, Rationale, Examples of Evidence):

  1. Sustained Access (Diversity, Representation, Participation)
    • Goal: Achieve and sustain a diverse student, faculty, and staff body that is representationally balanced in order to attain the innovation and creativity that this diversity allows.
    • Rationale: One necessary condition of a thriving academic community that fosters trust and high levels of engagement is that the community is not simply robustly diverse, but that we are continually assessing the extent to which each and every member of the community is well-positioned for success. This goal refers to the objectives and strategies used to increase and maintain compositional diversity among all of the College’s constituent groups and includes activities related to recruitment and retention of our students, faculty, and staff.
    • Examples of Evidence:
      • Demographics of staff, students, faculty
      • Faculty recruitment, retention, tenure
      • Staff recruitment, retention, promotions
  2. Institutional Climate & Intergroup Relations
    • Goal: Create and maintain an inclusive culture in order to foster trust and high levels of engagement for constituent groups across all aspects of their experience with the College, both on and off campus.
    • Rationale: An additional condition of a thriving community is that community members of all identities and backgrounds excel across all facets of the community. It is not sufficient to simply increase the diversity of a community; a community that is truly inclusive and diverse allows each and every member to thrive. This requires concerted and sustained effort, attention, and continual readjustment. This goal refers to the objectives and strategies that enable the institution to create a dynamic and responsive environment that is supportive and respectful, engages across different perspectives, and embraces different identities and experiences in order to meet the needs of its diverse community.
    • Examples of Evidence:
      • Surveys indicating levels of engagement of each group, including:
        • active, accessible and collaborative learning
        • participation
        • formative communication
        • involvement in enriching experiences
        • feeling legitimated and supported
      • Instances of intergroup dialogue
  3. Education and Pedagogy
    • Goal: Advance the educational goals of the college by supporting faculty and staff in their use of educational content and pedagogical practices that embrace broad and varied perspectives; engage a wide range of students, faculty and staff; and promote a critical exchange of ideas.
    • Rationale: Amherst College prides itself in excellence in education. Disparities in educational achievement and attainment across demographic groups clearly diminish this excellence. As such, our understanding of excellence must evolve to consider pedagogical approaches that embrace students of all identities, learning styles, and backgrounds, resulting in the erasure of disparities in educational achievement and attainment across demographic groups. We accomplish excellence in education and pedagogy by offering courses and creative opportunities, valuing scholarship, and designing curricula that both critically consider and integrate varied perspectives and result in equal access to opportunities for academic success. Targeted professional development activities directed at supporting the pedagogy, and multicultural competencies of faculty and staff will contribute to a learning, research, and working environment where students, innovation, and creativity thrive.
    • Examples of Evidence:
      • Diversity of majors and major persistence
      • Student climate survey
      • Graduation rates, awards and prizes, theses
      • Application of principles of universal design
  4. Institutional Infrastructure
    • Goal: Assess, update, and develop policies, procedures, and practices that create an equitable institutional infrastructure that flexibly supports and enhances equity and inclusion efforts across the College. Institutional infrastructure refers to the policies, allocation of resources, articulated competencies, organizational structures, and the use of metrics and other evidence that drive intentional decision-making.
    • Rationale: In order to remove the barriers for success in any institution, we must examine and dismantle the policies and practices that have contributed to inequity, but that can and should result in all members of the community thriving.
    • Examples of Evidence:
      • Dashboard that reports demographics
      • Analysis of the use and outcomes of engagement with existing policies
      • Survey results regarding questions on fair policies
      • Findings regarding complaints and other third-party contacts (e.g., ombuds, the Identity Based Harm Review process, 504 Grievance Process, Title IX)
      • New policies instituted with a DEI lens
      • Reports from DEI and Anti-racism committees/task forces

Sharing Plans, Goals, and Objectives:

The specific activities that must be taken, by whom and by when, to achieve the Equity work at Amherst is detailed in each Division’s DEI plans. These divisional plans are living documents, designed to shift as the needs of the College change and as the work progresses. As each and every member of the Amherst community does their part to work towards a more inclusive and equitable College culture, opportunities for input and collaboration abound. This website provides a place for community members to view updates to plans and see how the work is progressing in real time. Questions regarding each plan can be directed to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion