Frequently Asked Questions
Why does CC have an Antiracism Initiative?
Colorado College’s mission is to provide the finest liberal arts education in the country. To do that we must strive to create an environment where students, faculty, and staff feel welcome and valued, and can do their best work.
We acknowledge that racism has been present at CC since its beginning and still is here today. It is systemic, and exists in the outcomes of policies, the actions of individuals and groups, and in longtime inaction as well. Our campus community has experienced overt racist incidents, from students posting hurtful messages on a social media platform to an anonymous, hateful email that many received in 2018.
Long-experienced racism in classrooms, student activities, the workplace, policies, our physical environment, and more must be challenged through thoughtful work and action – by actively opposing racism.
What was the process for developing the Antiracism Implementation Plan?
An external review of racism was conducted in fall 2018; its initial report was shared with the campus community in January 2019, and the final report was shared in May 2019. Using the report’s findings and other information gathered that academic year, a small group with representation from the faculty, student body, Board of Trustees, alumni, and administration created a draft Antiracism Implementation plan with timeline and metrics. The draft plan was shared with the campus community in August 2019 at the beginning of the academic year, and the campus community was asked to send feedback. With this input from the campus community, the plan was finalized and shared in November 2019 at the beginning of Block 4.
Who was on the committee that created the plan?
The committee included President Jill Tiefenthaler, Provost Alan Townsend, Dean of the Faculty/Professor of English Claire Oberon Garcia, Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Life Mike Edmonds, Vice President for Communications Jane Turnis, Trustee Tafari Lumumba ’05, Trustee Jerome DeHerrera ’97, and Student Trustee Lily Weissgold ’20.
How were students, faculty, and staff involved?
Broad input on the draft Antiracism Implementation Plan was sought – and received – from the Diversity and Equity Advisory Board, the Faculty Executive Committee, the Colorado College Student Government Association, Staff Council, and individual faculty, staff, and students.
Why weren’t all of the recommendations in the External Review of Racism followed?
An external review provides an outsider’s view of a program/office/department or situation; it is meant to inform and provide recommendations, but is not a mandate. It is common for some recommendations to be implemented and for others to be deemed less appropriate, relevant, or effective – or for ideas in the review to lead to other solutions.
Why did the committee choose a three-person diversity, equity, and inclusion team model, rather than a chief diversity officer model?
Becoming an antiracist institution requires tremendous work in many areas of the college. A team approach with expertise focused on students, the academic program, and employees ensures that each of these areas will receive concentrated attention. Elevating the work to a diverse three-person team that collaborates and works closely with campus leadership, including the Board of Trustees, we will be more effective and have impact more quickly collegewide. See “Why Three Instead of One?” by Dean of the Faculty/Professor of English Claire Oberon Garcia.
Why was the position of assistant vice president/director of the Butler Center eliminated?
As we shift to the new model, this position will be eliminated at the end of the 2019-20 academic year, and a new position, the senior associate dean of students/director of the Butler Center, will be created. During our feedback period on the draft plan, we received input that the three-person team should be hired intentionally as a collaborative team, in a national search, and that they should have complementary skills. As always, qualified internal candidates are encouraged to apply.
What does it mean that the Antiracism Implementation Plan is a “living” document and that it will evolve?
With the expertise of our three-person diversity, equity, and inclusion team (to begin work in Fall 2020) and continued input from the CC community, we will make new discoveries and hear new ideas. Therefore, our plan will change over time as needed. An oversight committee for the Antiracism Implementation Plan, to include students, faculty, staff, and the president of the college, will ensure that initiatives are being implemented, and will assess the impact of our initiatives. They will also consider and approve updates to the plan.