Work on Diversity Action Plan Continues
In her State of the College address, Academic Vice President and Dean Darlyne Bailey stressed that one of her priorities was to "craft an educational community broad and deep enough to safely hold all of us." As part of that effort, The Affirmative Action Committee at TC has been working to facilitate, support and acknowledge groups around the College whose activities and vision are focused on diversity. The bi-annual meetings provide a means of identifying actions that will further a collective mission of establishing the College as an institution "that attracts, supports, and retains diverse students, faculty and staff at all levels through a commitment to social justice, a respectful and vibrant community and encouragement and support of each individual in the achievement of his or her potential."
"There is important work being done by different groups throughout the College. The Affirmative Action Committee is simply trying to bolster this work by providing opportunities to better communicate and/or coordinate the activities-building a stronger network," said Committee member Assistant Professor Peter Coleman.
A Diversity Action Planning Report was presented by the Affirmative Action Committee to the Dean's office in 2003 on behalf of the groups, outlining the significant steps that were being taken. Highlights of the meeting included:
In March, the committee meets again involving the groups above as well as additional participants representing a broadening of commitment to these issues. "The purpose will be to review current processes to identify how best to support and move forward with continued efforts and to examine how these efforts link to the College's Strategic Planning initiatives," said Assistant Professor Lori Custodero, Committee Co-chair
"The meeting in the Fall of 2002 started with a review of existing resources we have at the College to improve institutional policy, practice and community," Custodero said. "Last spring we began to document implementation issues that require attention, including the need for greater communication and dissemination of information, and the less easily negotiated influences of budgetary priorities and legal responsibilities. We plan to collectively revisit both ‘what we have' and ‘what we need' at our March meeting, in the service of setting goals that are both realistic and relevant."
"The College is making progress on this agenda, and there is much work to be done," added Coleman. "Establishing and maintaining a climate that respects diversity and engages in implementing the kinds of policies and practices that are required demands a long-term commitment by people throughout the College."