Dartmouth Action Plan for Inclusive Excellence

Action Plan for Inclusive Excellence

The Inclusive Excellence initiative comprised three working groups, focused respectively on faculty, on staff, and on students. Each group was charged with four objectives:

  • to develop better means of documenting current efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive community and to enhance coordination throughout the institution;
  • to define clear goals, with metrics for monitoring progress;
  • to establish explicit standards of accountability;
  • and to propose short- and long-term institutional initiatives based on the evaluation of existing efforts and best practices.

The working groups focused on the particular circumstances of Dartmouth's faculty, students, and staff, acknowledging that the patterns of diversity and inclusion among these communities vary widely. Yet at the same time, the three working groups were linked: the needs of Dartmouth faculty, staff, and students are intimately connected within and across discrete communities.

This is particularly the case where the resources of individual community members must strain to provide support and cultural connection on behalf of diverse groups that may be small in number and distributed across the campus. The entire Dartmouth community owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to the students, faculty, and staff members who participated in the three Inclusive Excellence working groups.

We understand that the well being of one sector of our community has powerful implications for the well being of the whole. Through the commitments described here, we aspire to enhance the strength of our entire institution through changes that create and support a positive and productive culture for faculty, staff, and students. Through our commitments to transparency and accountability, we express our intention to persevere in these efforts permanently, and to create lasting change.

Increase Faculty and Staff Diversity

Increasing the diversity of our faculty and staff will require deploying a variety of strategies tailored to the different hiring practices of various positions. For example, tenure-track faculty and senior staff searches are conducted by search committees, while unit managers fill most staff positions. To see sustained increases in diversity for all positions, we will have to make progress on both recruitment and retention.


Faculty Recruitment and Retention

  • We reaffirm our 2014 goal to increase the percentage of underrepresented tenure-track faculty institution-wide from 16 percent to 25 percent by 2020. With our current focus on the recruitment of underrepresented faculty, and an earlier commitment of an additional $1 million per year in the Diversity Recruitment Fund, we are beginning to see progress. Last year, all of the professional schools saw increases in underrepresented faculty and this year, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences has recruited eight new faculty of color to date.

Meeting the 25 percent goal will require recruiting approximately 50 additional underrepresented faculty, with estimated expenditures of $100 million over the next ten years in salary and start-up costs.

To provide additional incentive for departments and schools to recruit underrepresented faculty, and to help us reach the 25 percent goal, we will:

    • Double the Diversity Recruitment Fund to $2 million annually, supported by $45 million in endowment dollars;
    • Task school deans to work with the Office of the Provost to retain key faculty, both preemptively in the context of excellent performance in research, teaching and service, as well as in response to recruitment efforts by peer institutions;
    • Track our progress in reaching this goal on our website.

Accountability: School Deans and Provost

  • To ensure that faculty search committees recruit the strongest and most diverse pools of applicants, we will support and train additional faculty advocates to provide advice and resources throughout search processes. In addition, each search committee will undergo education and training in implicit bias. Accountability: School Deans and Provost.
  • To increase the pipeline of faculty from under-represented groups we will:
    • Double the length of the Chavez, Eastman, and Marshall fellowship programs from one year to two years;
    • Add an additional two-year fellowship in Asian American Studies;
    • Add four Provost's Postdoctoral fellows in areas that support diversity, as identified by faculty and deans.
    • Strengthen existing relationships and develop new partnerships with programs that encourage undergraduates to pursue doctoral studies, and with minority-pre-doctoral fellowship programs and training grants.

Accountability: School Deans and Provost

  • We recognize that issues of implicit bias can have unintended effects on evaluations and collegiality. To mitigate these effects and understand their prevalence, we will ask the faculty of each school to review their tenure and promotion processes. The faculty of each school will work within the school's appropriate governance processes, and report outcomes and proposed new practices to their Deans and the President and Provost by June 1, 2017. Accountability: School Deans.
  • Recognizing that faculty of color and women may bear a heavier burden of mentorship and committee service, we ask that departments, divisions, and schools find rational means to measure and balance institutional workload, including mentoring, across the faculty. Deans will be asked to report to the Provost annually on such measures, including participation rates and outcomes. Initial annual reports will be due on June 1, 2017. Accountability: School Deans.
  • As an institutional member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, we have offered NCFDD workshops and have funded faculty attendance at NCFDD boot camps. We will continue to extend the reach of NCFDD programming. Accountability: Provost.
  • We will conduct exit interviews with all departing faculty, as well as "stay" interviews in order to increase our understanding of the factors influencing employment decisions and to assist us in our efforts to recruit and retain an excellent and diverse faculty. As noted above, through the Office of the Provost, Deans will have access to resources in service of faculty retention. Accountability: Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity.

Staff Recruitment and Retention

  • By September 15, 2016, we will form a working group charged with identifying a target by which to increase underrepresented minorities on our staff and to provide strategies and benchmarks for achieving the goal. The group will report to the President and Provost by February 15, 2017. Accountability: Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.
  • All senior staff will complete training in implicit bias, and a trained advocate will provide advice and resources on diversity to search committees for senior staff positions. Accountability: Executive Vice President.
  • To enhance our ability to attract a diverse staff across all levels, Human Resources and Talent Acquisition will work closely with managers across campus to ensure that implicit bias training and a focus on staff diversity are integrated effectively into the hiring process and structure. We will also strengthen our outreach and recruiting practices to reach a broader range of candidates for staff positions, partnering as necessary with other organizations to create strong pipelines for diverse candidates. Accountability: Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity and Chief Human Resources Officer.
  • In order to retain an excellent and diverse staff, we will enhance professional development opportunities. To ensure that every employee has the opportunity to thrive in a fully inclusive and equitable work environment, we will provide training opportunities for new managers to ensure they have the skills necessary to work with a diverse staff and to create an inclusive culture. Accountability: Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity and Chief Human Resources Officer.
  • Recognizing the important role Employee Resource Networks have in providing faculty and staff with community and support, we will provide a ten-fold increase in dedicated funding to them, making available $60,000 annually to support their activities.

Accountability: Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity.

  • As with faculty, we will conduct exit interviews with departing staff, as well as "stay" interviews, in order to increase our understanding of the factors influencing employment decisions and to assist us in our efforts to recruit and retain an excellent and diverse staff. Accountability: Chief Human Resources Officer.


Build a More Inclusive Community

  • We will develop co-curricular offerings for students on cross-cultural communication, and support faculty governance processes working to develop an undergraduate requirement on human difference. Accountability: Dean of the College and Vice Provost for Student Affairs; Graduate and Professional School Deans; Dean of the Faculty.
  • We will integrate opportunities for student discussion and education on issues of diversity and inclusivity into the undergraduate house communities. Accountability: Dean of the College and House Professors.
  • The ideal of an inclusive community is not one where everyone agrees with one another, but rather one where people have the skills to disagree with each other constructively. Such skills are a hallmark of a liberal arts education. In order to exemplify their importance to our community, Dartmouth will sponsor an annual debate on a topic of political and/or social import. The debate will feature experts who bring a broad range of perspectives to the issue. Nominations for each year's topic will be solicited from faculty, staff, and students. Accountability: President.
  • Beginning with the academic year 2016–2017, orientation for students and new staff and faculty will include training on diversity and inclusion. Through orientation and through web-based resources, we will ensure that all members of the community are aware of opportunities for involvement in enhancing the diversity and inclusivity of our campus, as well as clear guidelines for reporting incidents of bias. Accountability: Vice Provost for Student Affairs; Chief Human Resources Officer; School Deans.
  • Beginning with the academic year 2016-2017, we will expand workshops and training on topics of diversity, mentorship and implicit bias with the goal of reaching all faculty, and with a priority for department chairs and senior staff. Accountability: School Deans and Provost. Human Resources will develop manager-training programs that include topics of diversity hiring, inclusivity in decision-making and cross-cultural leadership. Accountability: Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity and Chief Human Resources Officer.
  • The President and Provost, in consultation with the Vice President of Institutional Diversity and Equity, will review the optimal design and resourcing necessary for the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity to serve its complex mission, and issue a report by January 6, 2017. Accountability: President and Provost.
  • The Provost and the Advancement Division will examine ways to increase connections between alumni and students in order to support students of color and LGBTQIA students more systematically and effectively, and will issue recommendations by September 15, 2016. Accountability: Provost and Senior Vice President for Advancement.

Increase Transparency

  • By September 15, 2016, we will launch a new comprehensive diversity and inclusion website which will include a dashboard detailing initiatives, their status, and the responsible offices; a directory of relevant personnel and other resources; a compendium of ways to get involved; a calendar of events; and other information. Accountability: Provost, Executive Vice President, and Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity.
  • By September 15, 2016, Dartmouth will form a new Council on Institutional Diversity and Inclusivity, comprising students, faculty, and staff drawn from all schools and divisions, to advise the President, Provost, Executive Vice President, and Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity. The Council will share best practices from throughout the institution, monitor progress, ensure that departments, divisions, and schools are aware of training opportunities, and provide updates and recommendations to senior leadership. Accountability: President and Provost.
  • By September 15, 2016, we will create a Research and Assessment Team to develop metrics to evaluate our efforts, to study data, and to work with and to support the Committee on Institutional Diversity and Inclusivity, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, and senior leadership. Accountability: President and Provost.
  • We will publish an annual Dartmouth College diversity and inclusion report card which will be posted on our website. It will include programs, initiatives, relevant data and goals from across the College. The first report card will be published by May 30, 2017. Accountability: President and Provost.
  • Senior leaders will provide a variety of mechanisms, including public forums, to support community feedback and dialogue on issues of diversity and inclusivity. Accountability: President; Provost; School Deans; Executive Vice President; Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity; Dean of the College; Vice Provost for Student Affairs.

Confront and Learn From the Past

Many students, faculty, staff and alumni have conducted valuable research over the years to shed light on some of the darkest moments in the history of Dartmouth, as well as some forgotten bright spots. We believe that a full treatment of Dartmouth's involvement in slavery, its historic treatment of underrepresented minorities and marginalized and excluded groups, and an examination of those moments where Dartmouth has led, will help us navigate a more honest and informed way forward. In consultation with faculty, students, alumni, and staff, we will commission public projects on the subject as part of our sestercentennial celebration in 2019. Accountability: President and Provost.


Be Accountable

  • As of 2016-17, every academic department, division, and school, as well as every administrative division of the College, will be required to develop and post an annual diversity and inclusion plan. These plans will be particular to each division's role and priorities, and may include mentoring initiatives, curricular offerings, recruitment, training, professional development opportunities and community outreach. The first plans will be completed by March 8, 2017, and will be available on each department, division, school, and administrative division's website. Accountability: President and Provost, School Deans, and Divisional leaders.
  • Beginning in 2016-2017, as part of annual performance evaluations, all faculty and senior staff will be asked to describe their efforts to enhance diversity and inclusivity on campus. Accountability: School Deans; Provost; Executive Vice President; President.
  • Dartmouth will create an External Review Committee comprising national thought leaders in diversity and inclusion in higher education. The external reviewers will report to Dartmouth's Board of Trustees annually to evaluate the institution's accountability for the commitments outlined here. The committee will provide an annual report, publicly available on our website. The first annual visit to campus will occur in spring 2017, with the public posting of the annual report to follow by July 1, 2017. Accountability: President.
  • The Dartmouth Board of Trustees commits to an enhanced focus on diversity and inclusion, and will complete training on bias and diversity. Accountability: Chair of the Board of Trustees.


These actions represent the start of a comprehensive effort to build a culture of academic excellence on Dartmouth's campus through the thoughtful cultivation of diversity and inclusion of all sorts, in all areas of our community. Our intention is to build both accountability and transparency into our work at every level, to ensure that the community as a whole has a clear understanding of what's underway, and the opportunity to evaluate success, failure, and follow-up action. As new ideas in support of diversity and inclusivity emerge, both on campus and beyond, we will add to this list of work, always with the commitment to accountability and transparency. At all times, we welcome engagement on these efforts with the Dartmouth community, here on campus and beyond the Hanover Plain.

Statement by the Dartmouth AAUP supporting the Asia/America@Dartmouth Action Plan

The Dartmouth chapter of the AAUP condemns anti-Asian violence and stands in solidarity and grief with the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community at Dartmouth and beyond. In the past year, racist and white supremacist language used by U.S. leaders to describe COVID-19 has sparked a surge of anti-Asian violence. Yet as the March 16, 2021 murder of 8 people in Atlanta, including six Asian migrant women—Daoyou Feng, Hyun J. Grant, Suncha Kim, Soon C. Park, Xiaojie Tan, and Yong A. Yue—viscerally reminds us, these terrible acts are grounded in long and intersecting histories of racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and legal discrimination. They are also a consequence of over 100 years of U.S. colonial violence and militarization across the Asia-Pacific that has led the United States to brutally perpetuate and disregard Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander death and suffering. As a consequence, violence against Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders, particularly women, is consistently overlooked, ignored, or rendered invisible.

Asian American activists, leaders, and scholars stand at the forefront of anti-racist efforts to dismantle both structural and interpersonal racism and white supremacy. In support of these efforts, the Dartmouth Chapter of the AAUP wholeheartedly supports the Asia/America@Dartmouth Action Plan and the establishment of an institutional home for AsianAmerican studies in a stand-alone program and/or through collaboration with other units. For over thirty years, students, alumni, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty at Dartmouth have demanded a firm institutional commitment to Asian American studies on our campus. The
college has almost no faculty lines in Asian American studies and older lines in this field have disappeared or gone unfilled. A 2006 report requested by COP and the Dean of the Faculty recommended the establishment of an Asian American Studies minor through the dedicated faculty lines and expanded institutional resources; this did not come to fruition. Dartmouth's failures in this area—particularly when compared to peer institutions—highlight the urgent necessity of expanding the college's support of Asian American studies through faculty hires on the junior and senior level, postdoctoral fellowships, curricular expansions, and funding for events such as speaker series, working groups, and mentoring programs. The Asia/America@Dartmouth Action Plan presents a forward thinking and intersectional vision for increasing the visibility and representation of Asian Americans and Asian American studies at Dartmouth in the coming year and beyond.