New Initiatives to Strengthen Colby
Dear Campus Community,
I recently announced that I would be appointing task forces that will recommend ways to strengthen our commitment and programs related to diversity and inclusion as well as to globalism. I write today to provide details on those task forces and to announce a community forum to discuss issues of diversity on campus.
The task force on diversity, inclusion, and equity will be co-chaired by Associate Professor of Spanish Betty Sasaki and Vice President for College and Student Advancement Dan Lugo and includes faculty, staff, and students: Associate Professor of American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Lisa Arellano, Associate Professor of Anthropology and African-American Studies Chandra Bhimull, Professor of Education Lyn Mikel Brown, Pugh Family Professor of Economics David Findlay, Professor of Chemistry Jeff Katz, Professor of American Studies and Christian A. Johnson Professor of Integrative Liberal Learning Margaret McFadden, and Assistant Professor of English J.C. Sibara; Harold Alfond Director of Athletics Tim Wheaton, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Tashia Bradley, Provost and Dean of Faculty Lori Kletzer, and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jim Terhune; Daphne Hernandez ’18 and Chris Shorey ’16.
I have asked this group to review and assess Colby’s current diversity-related policies, practices, and efforts, to articulate goals for diversity that further our commitment to educational excellence, and to develop a diversity action plan that can be vetted widely in our community.
I will host an open community forum to explore the experience of our students, faculty, and staff with respect to diversity and inclusion in their many forms and to consider immediate steps we can take to improve our campus climate as we await the recommendations of the task force. The forum will take place after Thanksgiving break, with details forthcoming.
The task force on globalism will evaluate and make recommendations regarding our international programs, our support for global research, teaching, and related experiences, and our global recruitment and support efforts. Francis F. Bartlett and Ruth K. Bartlett Professor of Anthropology Catherine Besteman has agreed to chair that group, and it will consist of faculty, staff, and students: Assistant Professor of Spanish Dean Allbritton, Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Biology Cathy Collins, Professor of Latin American Studies Ben Fallaw, Grossman Professor of Economics Patrice Franko, Associate Professor of Government Walter Hatch, Professor of Anthropology Mary Beth Mills, Assistant Professor of French Mouhamedoul Niang, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Travis Reynolds, Associate Professor of Art Tanya Sheehan, Professor of Biology Judy Stone, and Assistant Professor of History Arnout van der Meer; Director of Grants and Sponsored Programs Bill Layton and Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Matt Proto; Sara LoTemplio ’16 and Abe Krieger ’16.
It will be critical that the work of these groups takes into account a wide range of voices, beliefs, and ideas. The task forces will be meeting with individuals on campus, and I encourage you to reach out to members of the groups to share your thoughts and insights.
Colby has thrived over time by evolving to meet changing demands and new opportunities. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be best positioned to meet our important mission in the decades ahead by leading with our commitment to diversity and inclusion and by enhancing our global identity and programs.
I look forward to continuing these conversations and learning from all of you about how we can best deliver on the promise of this remarkable college.
David A. Greene