Our Work Toward Becoming an Antiracist Institution
Dear Campus Community,
Our focus over the past year on becoming an antiracist institution represents a strategic priority, one where success depends on sustained engagement and contributions from each of us. I want to thank all of you for taking this hard work seriously and for coming together to commit to change. Our efforts will continue throughout the coming year, and for years to come.
What Happens Next?
In the fall of 2018, Dr. Roger Worthington began a review of racism at CC and provided us with an initial report and recommendations at the beginning of Block 5. Later this month, I expect to receive Dr. Worthington’s final report along with the external review of the Butler Center. During the summer, a small group (with representation from the faculty, student body, Board of Trustees, and administration) will use these reports, and other information gathered throughout the year, to draft an implementation plan with a timeline and metrics for tracking progress toward our goals.
At the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year, I will share the draft plan with the campus community and ask the Diversity and Equity Advisory Board, the Faculty Executive Committee, the Colorado College Student Government Association, Staff Council, and other faculty, staff, and student groups to review and comment on the plan. With this input from the campus community, we will finalize our strategy and begin implementation.
While the final report will guide our formal implementation plan, we have not been waiting for its completion to take action. After receiving Dr. Worthington’s initial report and recommendations, I asked several campus committees and each member of my Cabinet to review the report with their members and divisions and commit to concrete steps that would move the campus forward. A lot has happened and I’m pleased to share a few highlights of this work here. You can access a compilation of antiracism activities by division on the external review of racism webpage. Please send information on any additional activities underway to Victor Torres III (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Creation of New Senior Positions to Promote Faculty and Curricular Diversity
Provost Alan Townsend and Dean Sandi Wong issued a call for proposals from departments and programs seeking to hire post-tenure faculty who will contribute to diversifying the faculty and curriculum, provide leadership and mentorship to faculty in the early stages of their careers, and contribute service on high-profile, high-impact committees. Senior faculty will be hired over three years to further progress toward this commitment.
Fundraising to Improve Diversity of the Student Body
As part of Building on Originality: The Campaign for Colorado College, we have set a goal to raise $100 million for financial aid, including $20 million specifically to support the Colorado Pledge. Once this initiative is fully funded, Colorado students from low and middle income families will be assured that a CC education will be as or more affordable than attending our state’s public flagship university. By making attending CC more affordable, we will attract and enroll a higher percentage of students from lower- and middle-income Colorado families, and increase our socioeconomic diversity.
Faculty Development: Curriculum Development and Grants in Support of Diversity, Equity, and Antiracism Initiatives
The dean of the faculty awarded grants to faculty in support of curriculum development for Summer 2019. Recipients will develop new courses or redesign existing courses to diversify CC’s academic curriculum, with a specific focus on including and addressing issues of equity, power, inequality, and diverse experiences. In addition, faculty have received grants to support conversations, workshops, conferences, and visits by experts and speakers to learn promising approaches to creating diverse, inclusive, and equitable learning environments in our classrooms, departments, and programs. Projects have brought faculty together to exchange ideas regarding inclusive pedagogies and climates, faculty solidarity, interrupting biases, antiracism, and efforts to push fields in archival, theoretical, and practical directions. Also, the Crown Center for Faculty Development is focusing its annual early summer faculty retreat on inclusive and equitable learning within the Block Plan.
New Block Breaks Away, Reimagined Events and Executives in Residence, and Support for Students
The Student Life and Academic Divisions are moving forward on a variety of fronts to increase support and opportunities for students. Student Life created “Block Break-Away” trips to provide attractive block break options for students who may not have the means or desire to engage in “typical” block break activities. The Career Center has hosted several executives in residence from marginalized populations, and the Offices of Outdoor Education and Campus Activities have worked to re-envision various significant events (Rail Jam, Blues and Shoes, Llamapalooza) to make them more inclusive and representative of the interests of today’s student body. A new student advising hub has been planned and will launch in the fall of 2019. The hub will be led by new Director of Student Support Teresa Leopold ,and will enhance the college’s ability to provide academic and other forms of support to every student.
College Access Initiative
In 2020, the college will launch a college access program for Pikes Peak youth. In collaboration with local schools and community organizations, we will recruit high-promise, high-need students and provide them with summer academic programs and year-round workshops to increase college readiness and help with navigating the admission process. Youth who complete the program will be admitted to CC with generous scholarships.
Our work is just beginning, but I deeply appreciate the energy, thoughtfulness, and creativity you have brought to this effort. This is hard, but essential, work that we all must own and engage with to create an inclusive and equitable CC.