The Student Subgroup is examining the ways in which the student experience can and should be enhanced through the lens of diversity broadly defined. In particular, the group is focused on the College’s approach to recruiting students and how that influences and impacts both the makeup of the student body and how students contribute to and benefit from diversity and difference as a core component of a Colby education. We hope to guide Colby’s efforts to recruit students who are from diverse backgrounds and experiences and who seek a rigorous liberal arts experience in which exposure to and active engagement with diversity and human difference is a defining element. And, we aim to identify a set of guiding principles and framework for making Colby a truly inclusive community with comprehensive and robust structures to support all students.
Campus Climate Subgroup
The Campus Climate Subcommittee of the task force is charged with collecting information and making recommendations about the climate at Colby. Susan Rankin, Pennsylvania State University professor, defines campus climate as “the current attitudes, behaviors and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential.” To try to understand the existing climate, we are asking many campus leaders to provide their perspectives and to make recommendations about how we might do things differently. At the same time, we are researching best practices for building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community, one in which everyone who studies and works here feels respected and empowered to reach their potential. We will conclude our work by creating a set of recommendations to move us toward our goals and aspirations.
The Faculty/Staff and Curriculum Subgroup is charged with collecting data on the College’s experience with diversity in hiring and retention of faculty and staff at Colby and identifying a set of recommendations toward making Colby a national leader in this work. The subgroup will also begin to explore the College’s curriculum and academic instruction from a lens of diversity and inclusion broadly defined. The subgroup has requested information from several campus offices including but not limited to the Provost’s Office, Institutional Research, and Human Resources to better understand the existing challenges and obstacles to our efforts to recruit and retain a more diverse faculty and staff. Simultaneously, we are researching the experiences of peer institutions and identifying resources to help us incorporate national best practices into our final recommendations.