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Carleton College Office of the President
Dear Members of the Carleton Community,

I am pleased to share with you several updates about the formulation of a Community Plan for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity at Carleton, with a special focus on Black experiences (the “IDE Plan”).

You may recall that the Board of Trustees endorsed the creation of this IDE Plan at a special meeting on August 28.  Since then, we have been working with the Board and College governance groups to develop a framework for the IDE Planning process that will help ensure the final plan addresses key issues and moves the College forward in substantive and lasting ways.

The steering group that will lead the IDE Planning effort will be co-chaired by Trustee Jeninne McGee ’85 and Professor Chico Zimmerman (Classics).  That group will also include:
  • Associate Professor Cherlon Ussery (Linguistics)
  • Trustee Alison von Klemperer ’82 P’16
  • Director of TRIO/SSS Trey Williams (Forum)
  • Administrative Assistant for the Arts Sally Bell Pierce (SAC)
  • Student Maya Rogers ‘22
  • Multicultural Alumni Network Chair Jessica Brooks ‘09
  • Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Art Rodriguez ‘96
  • Vice President for External Relations Tommy Bonner
I am very grateful to each of these individuals, and especially the co-chairs, for taking on this vital service to Carleton.  The co-chairs of the CEDI Leadership Board and the remaining members of the Tuesday Group will be “floating members” who will participate periodically in steering group meetings.  The steering group can grow as needed and/or make use of existing governance structures and offices, such as the Office of Intercultural and International Life, as it progresses.

At its October meeting last week, I shared with the Board the following charge to the steering group:
The IDE Plan aims to help Carleton achieve its aspiration of being a truly supportive and inclusive learning and work environment for every student, faculty, and staff member.  Carleton must examine—and change where needed—policies, processes, cultural norms, and personal and institutional assumptions that are rooted in racism (whether consciously or inadvertently) in order to heal, strengthen and even re-envision a fully inclusive community.  In undertaking this self-examination, the College will consider the student academic experience; the student learning/living environment outside of the classroom; the experience of working at Carleton (this includes both student work and staff/faculty workplace issues); and the best institutional structures and organizational models through which to achieve IDE goals.  The IDE plan will identify prioritized short-term action steps as well as longer-term reforms, and will also lead to appropriate metrics whereby outcomes can be measured, analyzed, and tracked.  The development of the IDE plan will include processes to hear the views and voices of students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends across the College community.
I will be meeting with the steering group on November 5 to formally launch the IDE Planning process.  The steering group will begin its work immediately, and the IDE Planning effort will continue throughout this academic year and into next fall so that Carleton’s new President will have a meaningful opportunity to put their own stamp on the final plan.  As its first order of business, the group will engage an external planning consultant with expertise helping organizations effect changes that are necessary to achieve inclusion, diversity, and equity.  Our learning, evaluations, deliberations and eventual choices will surely benefit from the fresh, outside assessment of the College that an unaffiliated party can bring. 

With the help of our consultant and steering group members, we will develop and run an IDE Planning process that is transparent and broadly inclusive, drawing upon the experiences and perspectives of the entire Carleton community.  This process must and will include opportunities to tap the ideas and hear the voices of all of Carleton’s stakeholders:  students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends.  By paying careful attention to these matters at the outset of the planning process, the final plan will have greater impact and legitimacy.  I strongly urge you to share your thoughts and ideas as opportunities to do so are provided.

Updates and additional information throughout the planning process will be posted to the IDE Planning website and shared with the Carleton community.

Again, I want to thank in the steering group for leading us through this critically important work. 
Steve Poskanzer
1 North College Street | Northfield, MN 55057 US
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