Build a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community

The group’s scope includes:

  • Recruitment and retention of faculty, students and staff
  • Admissions and financial aid
  • Curriculum and pedagogy
  • Communities on and off campus
  • Campus climates

Group Members

Juan Baena ’06, Office of Alumni Relations
Ethan Barron, Department of Athletics
Leticia Haynes ’99, Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity
Gretchen Long, Department of History and Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity
Molly Magavern, Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity
Tarun Yadav ’21, Student

Working Group charge (draft)

Williams has, over the decades, diversified its student body, faculty, and staff. We aspire to be diverse out of our “conviction that encountering differences is at the heart of the educational enterprise.” We aspire to be inclusive so that the members of our community feel welcome, valued, and supported. We aspire to be equitable so that everyone may take full advantage of all the educational opportunities and resources that the college has to offer.

This working group is charged to develop higher-level goals and strategies concerning:

  • What it means for our initiatives, programs, curricular, co-curricular offerings and built environment to serve our diverse community;
  • What it means for our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to reach in and beyond the classroom and include the broader Berkshire County and neighboring communities where our students, faculty and staff often engage and live;
  • How we embrace optimal practices for engaging members of the community in ways that respect the identities, experiences and needs of community members so that they have a strong sense of belonging.

The working group should consider the following questions:

  • How do we encourage and support meaningful discourse so that we emerge with opportunities for action and highlight challenges for consideration while maintaining a safe and inclusive community?
  • How do we come to understand the experiences of all members of our community?
  • How can we best study and highlight the college’s history, particularly regarding evolving understandings of its mission and who it serves?
  • How do we facilitate or support learning about identities and experiences so that all members of the community are engaged as lifelong learners?
  • How do we empower members of the community to engage in meaningful (ex)changes around issues of local, national and international import that impact our sense of belonging?
  • How do we facilitate communication with individuals on and off campus regardless of ability, language, or opportunity to access information?
  • How do we ensure our built environment reflects our principles of inclusivity such that buildings and spaces are accessible and welcoming to all?

Each working group will collaborate with the Office of the President on a list of resources needed for its work, including internal data sets and models from peer institutions. In addition, each working group is charged with:

  • Developing an open and inclusive process for gathering input from all sectors of the campus;
  • Developing a communications strategy throughout the fall and early spring of 2019-20;
  • Coordinating with other relevant working groups and the Coordinating Committee as necessary;
  • Recognizing that resources are limited and thinking carefully about ways to achieve programmatic change without necessarily increasing total spending;
  • Operating with the understanding that new initiatives may replace existing ones and thus an inventory of possible reductions/eliminations should be developed.