The Office of Diversity & Inclusion (OD&I) works collaboratively to support and sustain the growth of a just, equitable, vibrant, and intellectually challenging educational environment. We equip the Amherst College community with insights and strategies toward designing a culture of critical and compassionate campus engagement.
Areas of Focus:
A Thriving Community
Bridging Theory & Practice
Inclusive Recruitment and Retention
Systemic and Progressive Change
Strategic Plan 2016-2019
YEAR 1 (2016-2017)
Goal 1: Recruit, Support, and Retain Diverse Faculty Scholars.
Conduct strategy meetings with all search committees.
Work with search Chairs to ensure all measures to diversify the search have been taken.
Identify an Inclusion Advocate who will serve as a member of the search committee and work with the Cheif Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO) throughout the search.
Select a Faculty Advocate to fulfill a three-year appointment in the CDIO’s office. This individual will monitor progress on search processes, assist with faculty workshops on topics of diversity and inclusion, and collect and analyze demographic data across academic departments.
Begin to integrate the idea that departments should always be in “search mode” therefore leveraging opportunities to attract and retain a more diverse faculty.
Conduct periodic focus groups with faculty of color to discuss opportunities for mentoring and other forms of pre-tenure support.
Goal 2: Create a greater sense of belonging for all Amherst students.
Conduct a series of focus groups in Fall ’16 and Spring ’17 to learn more about campus climate and the ways in which students experience Amherst.
Review and analyze institutional reports that speak to issues of diversity and inclusion. As appropriate, cross reference these reports to ensure that pending issues requiring action are being addressed (e.g. Action steps from Amherst Uprising, External Review Team Report, Diver Report, etc.)
Expand the scope of responsibility for cultural centers to include consistent interface with student life—specifically in residential programming and opportunities for cross-sectional dialogue that are less likely to take place within the confines of the centers.
Drawing on evaluative data from Psych 224, taught by Allen Hart and Buffy Aries, identify 2-3 forms of college-wide intergroup dialogue opportunities to be launched in Spring ’17. Collaborate with the Center for Civic Engagement to weave intergroup dialogue into the College’s co-curricular programming.
Consult with all student-serving centers to create diversity and inclusion plans. These plans will identify strategies to serve and support Amherst’s diverse student population and ensure that those students are gaining access to as many opportunities as possible.
Goal 3: Help create the conditions for recruiting and supporting a more diverse staff.
Conduct audit of leadership development programs to identify which facets of the staff community are currently accessing such programs. Where appropriate, introduce elements of diversity and inclusion into program designs.
Partner with HR to immediately deploy diversity and inclusion best practices in the HR function. Examples include but are not limited to: unconscious bias training for staff, D&I fundamentals of learning for new managers, and advanced inclusion courses for senior managers.
Work with HR to identify the appropriate timing and strategy to administer a staff-wide climate survey
In partnership with regional chambers of commerce and other stakeholders invested in economic development, launch “The Pioneer Project” a brain gain initiative that analyzes shifts in workforce demography and identifies strategies for recruiting a more diverse citizenry to the Pioneer Valley.