Williams in the World

Williams in the World report

The group’s scope includes:

  • Engagement of students, faculty, staff, and the college as a whole with the world off-campus—near and far
  • College roles in the social and economic health of the region
  • Partnerships with other colleges and universities

Group Members

Jackson Ennis ’20, Student
Jim Kolesar ’72, Office of the President
Colin Ovitsky, Center for Learning in Action
Noah Sandstrom, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Program
Sharifa Wright ’03, Alumni Relations

Working Group charge (draft)

Recent years have brought increased engagement with the world off campus by individuals, student groups, offices and academic units, and the college as a whole.

This working group is charged with identifying opportunities for such engagements. It will educate itself about current Williams practices, consult broadly on and off campus, explore model programs at other colleges, and identify areas deemed ripe for development.

The working group should consider the following questions:

  • Is there a clear public articulation of the motivation for, and the particulars of, how we engage with the world off campus?
  • How can we best communicate expectations of and opportunities for involvement to students, faculty, and staff?
  • What mechanisms are in place, or could be, to identify opportunities for scholarship that is engaged with challenges faced locally and afar?
  • What responsibilities derive from the college’s position as one of the largest organizations in the region, and by far the largest in Williamstown, and how should those be balanced with the responsibilities that derive from our standing as a nonprofit?
  • How does the growing diversity of the college community affect our relationships off campus, and our opportunities and responsibilities in the local community?
  • How well do the college’s financial arrangements with local governmental and non-profit organizations align with our mission?
  • What is the best organizational structure to encourage and organize all these efforts.

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.