Letter to the Dartmouth Community
May 27, 2016
To the Dartmouth community:
We write to you today to present our commitments to advance diversity and inclusion at Dartmouth.
Over the last weeks, we have studied the reports from the three Inclusive Excellence working groups. We have reviewed the Community Study report. We have taken stock of many previous reports and surveys. We have listened to your feedback on calls, at community forums, and in meetings and office hours, and we have read your emails.
We have identified many previous efforts over the years to enhance diversity and inclusion in our community. And we have concluded that Dartmouth needs no more reports, task forces, or initiatives that occur in isolation. Rather, Dartmouth needs action, alignment, accountability, and transparency. Today we stand together and commit our institution to cultural change. This change is both possible and necessary, on behalf of the highest academic standards that are integral to this institution.
Dartmouth’s capacity to advance its dual mission of education and research depends upon the full diversity and inclusivity of this community. We have work to do. We must increase diversity, particularly among our faculty and staff. As we do so, we must also create a community in which every individual, regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, disability, nationality, political or religious views, or position within the institution, is respected. On this close-knit and intimate campus, we must ensure that every person knows that he, she, or they is a valued member of our community.
Diversity and inclusivity are necessary partners. Without inclusivity, the benefits of diversity— an increase in understanding, improvement in performance, enhanced innovation, and heightened levels of satisfaction—will not be realized. We commit to investments in both, to create a community in which difference is valued, where each individual’s identity and contributions are treated with respect, and where differences lead to a strengthened identity for all.
In 2015, we launched the Moving Dartmouth Forward initiative to enhance the student experience and heighten learning outside the classroom, making the campus safer, more diverse, and more inclusive. The actions announced today build on Moving Dartmouth Forward with an expanded focus on diversity and inclusivity among staff and faculty, as well as students. As we did with Moving Dartmouth Forward, we commit to transparency and accountability in our actions. We will create a permanent home on Dartmouth’s website to allow you to track our progress across all dimensions of diversity and inclusivity, to ask questions, and to contribute ideas. We will appoint an external review committee to evaluate our work in fulfilling our commitments to diversity and inclusivity. And we will link that external review committee with the external committee already in place to evaluate our Moving Dartmouth Forward commitments.
Creating the culture we need and value will require a permanent commitment by the Dartmouth community. The actions we outline in the Action Plan for Inclusive Excellence mark that commitment with a period of focused action, supported by clear, accessible communication about our progress. We recognize that this effort is a marathon and not a sprint. We commit ourselves to constant vigilance and clarity regarding our efforts and their results.
Phil Hanlon ’77, President
Carolyn Dever, Provost
Evelynn Ellis, Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity
Rick Mills, Executive Vice President