Commitment: Launch a Bias Education Response Team
All reports of bias will be managed by the Bias Education Response Team, which will conduct investigations, adjudicate reports and determine actions and responses to incidents. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has worked extensively across campus to present to campus partners a new vision for Bias Response with more than 15 presentations made to students, faculty and staff.
The committee, made up of faculty and staff, began meeting in September 2020 to review and revise the existing bias reporting process to be adapted by the Bias Education and Support Team (BEST). This new framework was presented to campus leadership in December 2020. Subsequent presentations focused on faculty governance groups including FCC, Advisory and FEHC. Presentations were also held with the DEI Advisory Committee (formerly MCCL) and staff groups, including OPC and Counseling Services. Presentations to Student Senate occurred in April 2021. Feedback from each of the sessions has been incorporated into the drafting of the FAQ’s and this will continue through summer 2021. A final draft was then shared with legal counsel for review in April 2021. At the request of students, a recorded Zoom video of the presentation will be created and posted through Embark. The link to the video will also be made available to faculty and staff with additional information sessions being scheduled for June 2020.
A full-day training delivered by a team from TNG/ATIXA was held on February 22, 2021. Thirty faculty and staff who may serve as future hearing panelists and appeals officers participated in this training, developing their awareness with regard to how issues of microaggressions, bias, and cultural competence impact our campus, along with practical techniques to respond to and de-escalate situations as they arise. This training increased the pool of trained and capable partners in the BEST process, a necessary element in the implementation process.
Commitment: Ensure DEI efforts are reflected in staff performance reviews
The College will ensure that participation in professional development related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and efforts toward building an anti-racist Mount Holyoke, are included in annual conversations and performance reviews, and that such efforts by staff are appropriately valued in opportunities for professional advancement.
Progress update scheduled for June 2022.
Commitment: Ensure DEI efforts by faculty are evaluated
The Office of the Dean of Faculty will work with faculty governance bodies in 2020–2021 to ensure that faculty anti-racism efforts and professional development are evaluated in the holistic review of teaching and form a part of academic review processes in the future.
A new faculty anti-racism reporting section was added to the Faculty Activity and Service Summary (FASS), which is completed by each faculty member. This form provides the basis for annual conversations within each department and for annual reporting by department chairs. The annual report guidelines for department chairs have been updated to include specific language about anti-racism and are now in the implementation stage. Individual faculty are now asked to include discussion of their diversity, equity, and inclusion work in their Faculty Activity and Service Summary and department chairs will include a summary of their department's efforts in their annual report.
Commitment: Launch employee affinity-based dialogue groups and events
The College launched an ongoing series of employee affinity-based dialogue groups and events in fall 2020. To date, these affinity-based dialogues have been:
- Affinity-based dialogue for faculty and staff who identify as Black: Throughout summer 2020, and in April 2021.
- Affinity-based dialogue for faculty and staff who identify as Latinx: September 2020.
- Affinity-based dialogues for faculty and staff who are caregivers: October 2020 and December 2020.
- Affinity-based dialogues for faculty and staff who identify as LGBTQ: October 2020, January 2021, and April 2021.
- Affinity-based dialogue for faculty and staff who identify as transgender and gender nonconforming: November 2020.
- Affinity-based dialogue for faculty and staff who identify as Asian/Asian-American/Asian Pacific Islander/South East Asian scheduled for June 2021.
Other affinity based moments for the Fall included our Friday lunchtime Brown Bag Series which brought together faculty and staff groups for the following topic based discussion:
- 1619 Project Dialogue for BIPOC identified faculty and staff.
- 1619 Project Dialogue for White faculty and staff as Allies.
The College will continue to build upon this effort with ongoing affinity-based dialogues expanding the program to support BIPOC and community members from other underrepresented groups to provide ongoing support to diverse populations of community members.
Commitment: Reimagining campus safety
Public Safety and Service is a part of the Division of Student Life and is committed to safeguarding the civil rights of all and to fostering a campus environment that is rooted in understanding and respect.
- With the exception of campus emergencies, Public Safety and Service no longer posts outside campus buildings.
- Implicit bias and other social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion trainings are being reviewed and assessed in the performance evaluations of all staff members.
- New policies and procedures are being created to define when students might anticipate the presence of Public Safety and Service in residence halls.
- In collaboration with the Reimagining Campus Safety Committee, Public Safety and Service developed, reviewed and revised several policies related to student interactions in the residence halls and on campus.
Commitment: Expand Counseling Service’s capacity to support and treat BIPOC students
From August 2020 through June 2021, the Counseling Service is conducting a bi-weekly inservice on anti-racism and the treatment of the trauma of racism.