On Oct. 30, 2019, President Brian W. Casey and Provost and Dean of the Faculty Tracey Hucks ’87, MA’90 shared Colgate’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Plan with the campus community.
The DEI Plan outlines the foundational structures that must be built to support the University’s strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. It contains a series of long-term initiatives and first steps to which the University will commit in the years ahead.
“Their completion will enable next steps,” wrote Casey and Hucks, “and are not an endpoint but a beginning.”
The DEI Plan was drafted from recommendations compiled from the DEI Task Force and the 75 members of its working groups, augmented by the results of a study commissioned by Colgate in 2016 as well as recommendations from previous administrative-, faculty-, and student-led DEI efforts.
On Nov. 15, following the release of the report, Casey and Hucks hosted the first in a series of forums to answer questions and solicit feedback that could inform future editions.
“In the words of my former teacher here at Colgate, the late Coleman Brown,” Hucks told attendees, “this space is one for seekers, believers, and doubters … for those who seek a better Colgate, who believe in its possibilities, and who doubt that the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion can ever be achieved with mere good intentions and well meaning.”
In person, Hucks and Casey reinforced the assertions found in their campus announcement: The DEI Plan will touch every corner of campus, including the outstanding people, academic programs, and student-life initiatives that make Colgate a distinctive leader in higher education. The plan is essential for the future viability of the Institution; diversity, equity, and inclusion are indispensable in a community that values achievement and dedicates itself to the education of a responsible, ethical citizenry.
Conversation therefore ranged from the intricacies of creating a successful cabinet-level DEI leadership position to the inclusion of DEI within the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum. Attendees also talked about the ways in which the institution will hold itself accountable and detail its progress through annual reports and other regular communications with the community.
“In preparing this plan, we have noted Colgate’s history of steps forward and back, false starts, and best intentions surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Casey and Hucks said in releasing the report. “One day, decades from now, the eye of history will inevitably be turned upon us — the generation that stewards Colgate in the early years of its third century. The actions we take now will determine our legacy. Let us therefore commit to an ambitious pursuit of excellence in our shared work of forging a more equitable and inclusive academic community.”