|Submission Date||May 11, 2021|
Saint Michael's College
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination
|1.67 / 2.00||
Professor of Biology
Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked by the administration or governing body to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights?:
Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on students, employees, or both?:
A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:
The newly appointed position of Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion (see President's Office/Staff at https://www.smcvt.edu/offices-and-services/presidents-office/) provides leadership and resources to the campus and is responsible for providing training and education opportunities for faculty and staff on an ongoing basis and provide counsel to relevant departments and divisions on:
• hiring policies and recruitment practices for diversifying the faculty and staff
• recruitment practices for diversifying the student body
• inclusive teaching practices
• diversification of the curriculum
• College-led and student-led initiatives to broaden awareness of and engagement with action related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
This position reports directly to the President collaborates with the Cabinet, the Chief of Staff, the Director of Center for Multicultural Student Affairs (CMAS), and the Racial Justice Taskforce on these and other initiatives.
The Center for Multicultural Student Affairs is an intercultural center for all American and international students. The mission is to create an inclusive, caring, accepting and dynamic community of learners at Saint Michael's College. The office serves as a resource for students, faculty, staff and the Office of Student Life in such areas as cross-cultural communication, leadership training and development, cultural awareness, multicultural understanding, student development and identity development issues, in addition to organizing educational and recreational programs for the campus community.
All members of the Racial Justice Task Force (RJTF) hold in common commitments to social justice and to a definition of diversity and inclusion that includes all marginalized and underrepresented populations in our nation and on our campus. We recognize, however, that though we must continue to be vigilant with regard to all diversity and inclusion, racial diversity and racial justice emerge as the most apparent and urgent needs on our campus. The RJTF works with departments and programs to review representation of BIPoC in curricula, staffing, students and programs.
• All RJTF members will learn and review basic techniques for conducting and managing searches for BIPoC for all positions.
• RJTF members will be available, by departmental request, to serve as external members of search committees if the search is for a BIPoC.
• In addition to the work of Human Resources, RJTF will closely follow all “diversity” searches. RJTF members will be available to speak with candidates, answer questions about campus community and culture, and advise departments if requested.
• RJTF will work closely with the Center for Multicultural Affairs and Services (CMAS) and Admissions to contribute creative ideas and suggestions for recruitment and retention of BIPoC students.
• RJTF will report findings and recommendations to the president and her cabinet for discussion and approval.
Estimated proportion of students that has participated in that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:
Estimated proportion of academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:
Estimated proportion of non-academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:
A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:
In recent years, the College has held the following trainings, educational opportunities, and discussions. This list is representative but not comprehensive:
-The College held workshop sessions led by the well-regarded Vermont-based diversity educators CQ Strategies, which addressed implicit bias and provided participants with tools for responding to racist statements and actions. Employees were coached on approaches that would draw people into a place of learning and given tools befitting the work of an educational institution. There were separate trainings for staff and for faculty. The faculty training looked specifically at classroom/academic settings, as students had shared that classroom experiences should be a point of emphasis.
-In 2019 We cancelled classes and all campus meetings and held a Day of Learning and Reflection with guest speaker Mohammed Bilal Associate Dean and Director of the Center for Inclusion, Belonging, and Intergroup Dialogue at Stanford University, and an anti-racism workshop lead by staff from the Burlington, VT Peace and Justice Center. -We have also, in the past two academic years, held book discussions co-sponsored by The Office of the President and the Edmundite Center for Peace and Justice. The discussions, on Michael Eric Dyson’s What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America and Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism were very well-received.
-In 2020 Staff and faculty participated in a “21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge,” taking time each day to engage with a reading, video, podcast, or other text and reflect on their commitment to acting for racial equity. The program included three sets of conversations in small, facilitated groups, with well over 130 faculty and staff involved.
-Faculty have also had additional faculty-wide professional development workshops on pedagogical and curricular equity and anti-racism efforts with experts from Indiana University and Saint Lawrence University in recent years. In 2021, we have had several such workshops, including two entitled "Promoting and Supporting Diversity and Inclusion in Teaching" by Professor Chavella Pittman (https://www.effectivefaculty.org/).
Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity office or trainings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Center for Multicultural Student Affairs (CMAS) https://www.smcvt.edu/student-life/diversity-and-inclusion/center-for-multicultural-affairs/
Newly appointed Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion:
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.