September 19, 2018

From: The Advisory Committee on the Office Diversity and Inclusion

Josiah Bramble, Hobart ’19
Sara Branch, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Maurice Charles, Chaplain
Donna Davenport, Professor of Dance
Sydney Gomez ’17, Presidential Fellow
Keoka Grayson, Assistant Professor of Economics
Lou Guard, Vice President and General Counsel
Christine Houseworth, Assistant Professor of Economics
Lisa Kaenzig, Dean of William Smith
DeWayne Lucas, Provost and Dean of Faculty
Alejandra Molina, Director of the Intercultural Affairs Center
Erin Pelkey, Professor of Chemistry
Carlos Robles, Hobart ‘19
Jason Rodriguez, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Josh Walker, Hobart ’20
Sonya Williams, Vice President for Human Resources
Maureen Zupan, Honorary Trustee
Patrick McGuire, Interim President

Dear Staff,

We recognize the importance of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to campus and to our progress as an institution. We write to share information about recent and future actions.

Over the summer some members of the Strategic Diversity Planning Group, Presidential Fellow Sydney Gomez ’17 and President McGuire met to discuss the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. During our meetings we crafted the job description for the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. The incumbent will serve on the senior staff and report to the president, acting as the Colleges’ diversity strategist. The job description was approved by the summer group and was submitted to Human Resources Department and sent to several employment and search services to post the job opening. Sonya Williams will serve as the chair of the search committee with Sydney Gomez who will support the Office of Diversity and Inclusion administrative needs during the search.

Earlier this week, the Advisory Committee on the Office Diversity and Inclusion —which included members of the Strategic Diversity Planning Group and the faculty of Diversity, Equity and Social Justice (DESJ) sub-committee met. An update was given on the national search for the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion. Together, we determined that the search committee will be comprised of two faculty members, two staff members, four students, and one member of the Board of Trustees. We seek now volunteers to serve in these roles as search committee members. To volunteer to participate or recommend a colleague to serve, please send an email by September 24, 2018 to gomez@hws.edu who will collect the recommendations for review by President McGuire. Each nomination must include a written rationale or evidence of one’s commitment and experience related to diversity and inclusion. We will review and consider all nominations before deciding on who will participate on the search committee.

As the search committee forms and the national search proceeds, we have established a small group of community members that will function as the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, coordinating programming currently on hold and exploring initiatives from the Strategic Diversity Plan that can be implemented this fall. The group is comprised of Professor of Dance Donna Davenport, Presidential Fellow Sydney Gomez ’17, Assistant Professor of Economics Keoka Grayson, Director of the Intercultural Affairs Center Alejandra Molina, Associate Professor of Anthropology Jason Rodriguez and student Josh Walker ’20.

We hope to complete the search and appoint a Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion before the start of the Spring semester, 2019. In the meanwhile, the community is encouraged to use all avenues for reporting and supporting the community currently available on our campus. These include Bias Incident Report, Intercultural Affairs Center, the Chaplain, the Counseling Center, and the Deans’ Offices. In addition, we encourage the community to actively support the activities of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and visit the new office on the first floor of Coxe Hall.

Please direct all comments, reactions and recommendations to the new Office of Diversity and Inclusion to Sydney Gomez, Presidential Fellow.