The Oversight Panel is a group of faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students who are charged with examining how the recommendations presented in the Final Report of the Task Force on Race are being put into practice. We met fourteen times during the 1999-2000 year. We set our goals as 1) to examine the progress made on Priority 1 recommendations that had been studied last year and 2) to study certain Priority 2, 3, and 4 recommendations and assess progress on their implementation. We selected 19 of the Priority 2, 3, and 4 recommendations for first-time study, based in large part on the input from the students on the Panel.
We also had the opportunity to make a presentation to the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee in February, at which two of the undergraduates and the one graduate student on the Panel spoke. We presented our evaluation of some of the real progress that has been made at Tufts, and also pointed out areas where there are gaps, such as in curriculum and in graduate student issues, and where we must concentrate efforts. The talk was very well-received, and we are hopeful that continued expression to the Trustees of the importance of addressing race and diversity in the university will yield their support and new initiatives.
In April, the Panel presented a sampling of its findings at an open forum. Unfortunately, the end of the semester is too busy a time for much student participation, and many more administrators than students attended. We intend to begin the verbal annual reporting in the fall, for the previous yearís work, to remedy this problem. Appendix 1 is the summary sheet of the recommendations, responsible offices, and status of implementation that was distributed at this meeting. Appendix 2 includes the full text of each recommendation, and is the compilation of all the responses that were received from administrators and staff about each recommendation. Blank forms listing the questions are provided at the front of the Appendix, as not all respondents provided answers to all the questions.
Finally, the Panel served as the "client" for a group of graduate students in a UEP course in which the students undertake a project during the spring semester and carry out the work for the client. These grad students conducted a study about the impacts of race on the graduate student population, and produced a set of recommendations directed at addressing the needs of this group.
Priority 1 Recommendations
The following is an update of progress on Priority 1 recommendations since last year.
In 1996-97, the Task Force heard many complaints from students that it seemed the administration did not acknowledge or react in a constructive way to incidents of intolerance. The students had the sense that these events were being minimized or ignored. The development of a Response Team (recommendations 1l, 1m and 1o) to address this perception, and the annual publication of a summary of such incidents by the Dean of Students office, was in place last spring. The team consists of Margery Davies in the Office of Diversity Education and Development, Michaele Whelan from the Vice Presidentís office, and Kate Ryan (and now her replacement) from the Presidentís office. They met several times this year to determine the appropriate level for responses to reported incidents: on two occasions the President published full-page letters in the Daily, and the Dean of Students staff coordinated responses at the residence hall level. Our assessment of this new set of policies and practices is that they are effective; the community is receiving timely communication from the administration with acknowledgment of the occurrence of such incidents and speaking out against them.While there have been no "evident misrepresentation or malicious report" published in the mainstream media this year (recommendation 1l), the policy of the deanís office is to respond quickly.
The newly emerging problem of anonymous hateful and even implicitly threatening messages posted to electronic bulletin boards is one which needs to be aggressively addressed. The administration and deans are grappling with finding effective ways to deal with the hate statements that have appeared in the Forum postings to "Brianís Rumor Page" (a non-Tufts server). We strongly urge the administration to determine what legal recourse the university has to combat such intolerant messaging, and also to institute measures to determine whether the writers of such electronic graffiti might pose a real threat of physical violence to others. Law enforcement agencies currently utilize profiling to make such first-order determinations, and, in conjunction with the Tufts police department, should be consulted about this problem. The panel encourages the administration and deanís offices to vigorously pursue counter measures to this cyber-maliciousness.
Progress has also been made in providing means of student recourse when faced with racist behavior and in R.A. training in issues of racism (recommendations 1n and 1x). The recent edition of the Pachyderm has been revised to include recourse procedures when students are faced with racist behavior. A new publication Confronting Intolerance from the Vice Presidentís office addresses issues of racist and discriminatory behavior and policies available to students. Racial awareness training for R.A.s has yet to be fully implemented, although this theme has been introduced into the Residential Life Training program (Spring 2000). The panel encourages continuation of these important efforts.
Over the years, perceptions have persisted that students of color are stopped disproportionately for routine ID and safety checks by the Tufts police officers, and that parties at Culture Houses have been broken up by police more frequently than parties at other houses. This has led to heightened sensitivity to the implementation of recommendation 1p, which calls for additional racial awareness training. The police have had such training in place since 1993, and this past year had a seminar entitled "Working in a Diverse Campus Community". Objectives of the seminar included exploration of biases, verbal/nonverbal factors that affect communication, and behaviors that allow one to remain in control and still show respect..
Unfortunately, there are no data or paper records to support or refute the studentsí perceptions. Students tend to discuss such issues among themselves, and there seems to be a reluctance to talk to individuals in administrative positions such as the Dean of Students even when they claim that they feel unfairly singled out for safety checks. This sets up an atmosphere where rumors and hearsay take on the tone of truth - undoubtedly there are truths there, but the context is lost without a full accounting of events. It is also unclear to what extent the Medford and Somerville police contribute to this perception.
The Oversight Panel, the police, and administrators cannot address specific events that have affected students in the past, however there are proactive steps that can be taken to ameliorate the sense of antagonism between students and safety officers.
We are pleased that the police have had annual diversity awareness workshops, and that new officers participate in this training as a matter of course. A new initiative this year is the institution of police liaisons that are associated with the Centers. In this program, an officer will meet with and establish a working relationship with particular Centers. The officer will get to know the students and issues they face, and the students may come to know the police in a non-threatening atmosphere. The Panel suggests that the names of the liaison officers be posted and circulated at the Centers and dorms, and among students, so help the process of personalizing these officers to the students. An important aspect of the initiative will be to maintain continuity of the liaison officers. If the personnel come and go, there will be little incentive for the students and Centers to try to establish a more personal link; retaining quality police officers on the Tufts police force will increase the chances of success of this program. We are hopeful that this outreach for dialog will be successful, and encourage revisiting this initiative next year to determine its effectiveness.
This academic year there have been a couple of incidents which involved racial and homophobic epithets and even violence. The police are to be commended for the way these disturbing events were handled; the events called for rather different approaches, but they were handled with sensitivity and with a willingness to get into discussions on difficult race implications, which helped clarify and defuse the situation.
The issues raised here are all part of the work the University has been doing in studying how race impacts our students. The Task Force on Race and the Oversight Panel have been trying to develop a picture of what it feels like to be a student of color here at Tufts. Part of that experience may involve interactions with police officers, within a positive or a negative context. Unfortunately, this is one slice of the picture about which virtually no data exist. In conjunction with the efforts noted above, we encourage the Dean of Students office to develop ways that will allow students, whether majority or minority, to talk about their interactions with the police. This would not be a process by which complaints are automatically initiated, or any action requested. It would simply be a mechanism for a student who feels unfairly stopped to discuss with and inform the Dean of Students about the circumstances under which the stop occurred. The discussion could be with a representative of the Dean - an RA or a Center Director - provided all had agreed on the protocols.
Recommendations 1r, 1s, and 1t deal directly with enhanced support for the Culture Centers. The commitment to maintain these important resources seems to be strong, and even in these tight fiscal times funding has increased. The two Directors who were not full-time all year were given funding to provide that level of support. Each Center now has an operating budget of $25,000 except for the Asian American Center which has $30,000. Also, Vice President Bernstein has provided programs for the Centers to use graduate students to assist with outreach to the student community. Additional attention to the space needs of the Centers is addressed in the next section of this report. The Oversight Panel is pleased that the Centers are being assisted in tangible ways, with enhanced funding and cooperative sponsorship of programming with administrative offices. We hope that these efforts to support these crucial resources will continue.
Other Priority 1 recommendations concerning the Culture Centers include 1q, 1u, 1v, and 1w. The Panel wishes to affirm in the strongest possible way that there is no move afoot to consolidate the Culture Centers (recommendation 1q). The university commitment to separate, strong Centers remains firm. The development of new and/or modified brochures describing the goals and programs of the Culture Centers is underway (recommendation 1v). The Asian American Center has one in place, and the other Centers are planning similar materials. Modifications to the undergraduate admissions bulletin will be undertaken this summer to clearly reflect the differences between the Centers and the houses (recommendation 1w). This is an effort of the student services project (SSP) and the first year "class team". Co-sponsoring of multi-cultural events by the Centers and the office of the Vice President is ongoing (recommendation 1u).
Several recommendations (also some Priority 2 and 3 recommendations) are linked to faculty and curricular issues: hiring more faculty of color, hiring faculty to teach in certain underrepresented areas, and addressing how race and diversity are treated in the overall requirements that students must satisfy to graduate. The Faculty Diversification Initiative has been in place for about 3 years, and has resulted in the hiring of a number of faculty of color. Over the past 5 years, 45% (26 people) of the full-time tenured and tenure-track hires have been people of color. Unfortunately, we have also lost 14 faculty of color over that period, though the reasons can include retirement, resignation, non-renewal of contract, or denial of tenure, among others. Over the same time period, 32 white faculty were hired and 40 left the university.
This year has seen vocal student activism about curricular gaps that exist in Asian American and Latino/a Studies. This issue is relevant to several Task Force recommendations, including Priority 2 and 3 recommendations. It may be most relevant to Priority 1 recommendations 1f and 1g, however, which encourage the institution of three new tenure track positions in American race and ethnic studies and the establishment of summer workshops for faculty to modify their existing courses to include race and diversity issues. There seems to be a recognition throughout the administration and the faculty (to a lesser extent) that these gaps exist. However, the departments individually are responsible for position requests for particular disciplines. That is, the administration cannot dictate to a department what courses it should offer. This will require a shift in philosophy in a number of departments. Such decentralized decision-making can be influenced by repeated, insistent requests from a broad base of students for course offerings in areas that are now neglected.
The ability of faculty to modify existing courses is an important piece of the curricular review that is underway by the faculty (see below in next section). We are pleased that there is movement toward establishing a summer workshop in which faculty are given support for retooling their courses to engage race and diversity. If a diversity "requirement" comes into being, it will be critical to have a large selection of quality courses for students to choose from; otherwise the requirement will become diluted and a backlash effect could set in. The Oversight Panel appreciates the complexity of implementing the various recommendations that deal with faculty diversification and curricular gaps. We encourage continued dialog about these problems in hopes that infusion of discussion of diversity will awaken awareness as decisions about hiring and course development are made through all departments.
The insufficiency of Orientation programming vis-à-vis race in recognized by the Dean of Studentís office (recommendation 1i). Modifications to the "Many Stories, One Community" panel last year received student evaluations that were highly positive. Further changes in orientation program planning this year will be modest, considering the transition in personnel and relocation of student services to Dowling Hall. Recommendation 1j calls for an "extended orientation" calendar for first-year students to showcase diversity activities. Most administrators, deans, and members of this Panel recognize the need for such a calendar for all classes across all components of AS&E. The "class teams" model for promoting attention to diversity issues, communication, programming, and training appears on target. All student a cappella groups (recommendation 1k), including those of students of color, were invited to participate in orientation activities. This practice will continue.
Both the Oversight Panel (recommendation 1a) and the Office of Diversity Education and Development (recommendation 1c) have been established. The Panel is completing its second year of assessing progress toward implementing the Task Force on Race recommendations. This report is an accounting of its efforts and activity in 1999-2000. The ODED is also in place, staffed with 1.5 FTE personnel, and is actively engaged in initiatives to promote race and diversity awareness (see recommendations 1g, 1m, 1o, and 1r).
Two administrative workshops on issues of race awareness and diversity (recommendation 1b) have been held this past year in Arts, Sciences and Engineering, under the initiative of the Office of Diversity Education and Development. However, none have been scheduled at the senior administrator and school dean level. As stated in our report last year, "we encourage a statement from the President and Vice Presidentís offices affirming that this will become a regular activity with required participation".
The issue of relocating the Office of Equal Opportunity (recommendation 1d) has evolved to one of upgrading the atmosphere of the Office, by providing adequate space and privacy for discussion. As pointed out by Wayne Bouchard, this office is a University-wide entity, and initiatives for space re-allocation or upgrade are not solely under the purview of AS&E; the ultimate decisions will be made at the central administration level. We urge continued cooperative talks between OEO and central administration to provide appropriate professional space for this very important office. As observed in last yearís report, the Panel remains concerned that the reporting relationship between the OEO Officer and the President is not a direct "special assistant" one.
Recommendation 1e calls for administrators to incorporate themes of diversity, race and tolerance in their speeches. The Panel believes that this is the current practice among administrators and deans in AS&E. Financial aid initiatives in the Capital Campaign (recommendation 1h) are in place. Presently there are three donors who are sponsoring challenge funds devoted to financial aid for underrepresented groups. The Development office notes that financial aid is one of the more difficult priorities for which to secure donors. A fuller discussion of financial aid and admissions issues follows later in this report.
Priority 2, 3, and 4 Recommendations
This year, the Oversight Panel focused not only on the continued progress of the Priority 1 recommendations, it also extended its scope by investigating the progress of Priority 2, 3, and 4 recommendations. This is the first year that these recommendations have been assessed. Letters were sent out and received by all offices that were in some way responsible for carrying out the recommendations. Three of them will be addressed separately under Admissions/Financial Aid. Of the other 16, four of them are considered as "In place". Six recommendations are evaluated as "In Progress". Some significant movement has occurred toward implementing them, though they may be in the early to middle stages of implementation. The other six are not implemented, though discussions are underway about how to do so.
We grouped our study of recommendations into six clusters. Two of the clusters, Admissions and Financial Aid, were investigated via interview, and the results appear in a later section. The other four clusters that include Priority 2, 3, and 4 recommendations are presented in this section of the report: 1) Administration, 2) Faculty and Staff, 3) Curriculum, and 4) Student Life. Note that each cluster may include recommendations of all or some of the varying priority level recommendations. The following is a summary of all the responses and our evaluation.
2a) We recommend that as administrative position openings occur, energetic efforts be directed toward increasing the diversity of the Arts and Sciences administration.
A response was received from Vice President Mel Bernstein, and the recommendation has been evaluated as being in place. It is noteworthy that concerted efforts have been made to fulfill this recommendation, as is exemplified by four recent hires. However, we recommend that these same efforts be directed at diversifying positions at the highest level of administration as retirements or other reasons for openings occur.
Faculty and Staff
2h) We recommend that Tufts be given the freedom to hire senior faculty (i.e., at the Associate or Full Professor level with tenure) in order to attract and retain distinguished minority faculty, and we urge the administration, pending faculty review and amendment of the by-laws concerning hiring, to make this a priority in current and future consideration of new appointments.
Responses from Mel Bernstein, Susan Ernst, Dean for Natural and Social Sciences, Ioannis Miaoulis, Dean of Engineering, Margery Davies, Office of Diversity Education and Development, and Rob Hollister, Dean of the Graduate School were received. This recommendation has been assessed as being in place. The process began with the Arts and Sciences faculty passing a motion by the Tenure and Promotion Committee during the academic year 1999-2000. Subsequent to this motion, one high profile Full Professor of color was hired. This hire is monumental, as Tufts had never hired a professor, with tenure, prior to this. Also, departments are invited annually to apply for Window-of-Opportunity positions to hire new faculty of color; these positions are offered on a rotating basis through disciplinary areas in Arts and Sciences.
It is our belief that these efforts will have a significant impact on the University as a whole. Therefore, it is very important that these efforts continue and grow in a vigorous fashion.
3b.) We recommend that Tufts design and implement a number of proactive faculty diversity initiatives, including, but not limited to, dissertation fellowship programs and underrepresented postdoctoral fellowships as a way of diversifying the curriculum and campus and of attracting scholars who might then be recruited to the Tufts faculty. Such scholars could teach one or two classes a year and be present on campus in other ways. Associated with CIS and perhaps a department or program, they would be part of our intellectual community.
Mel Bernstein, Susan Ernst, Leila Fawaz, Ioannis Miaoulis, and Rob Hollister responded that very little progress has been made in regard to this recommendation, except occasionally on an ad hoc basis. Although the Multicultural Teaching Fellows Program will be re-evaluated by Dean Hollister, nothing specific is being done towards meeting this recommendation. Previous efforts did not achieve the desired effects: doctoral and postdoctoral scholars were invited to campus for the summer, which did not bring them into the wider community during the academic year, which was a missed opportunity. However, costs for a year-long fellowship are quite substantial. Ultimately, if the scholars do not end up applying for positions at Tufts there is only transient benefit to the university.
It is our recommendation that energetic efforts be made towards revising such a program and seeking funding for it, as it could be a very effective way to channel qualified Ph.D.s of color into faculty positions. Additionally, programs such as the Mellon Minority Fellowship Program could help fund undergraduates of color with promise of pursuing doctoral degrees.
3c.) We recommend that increasing the number of minority faculty, through endowed chairs and at the junior level, be included as an explicit goal of the Capital Campaign, if it isnít already.
Mel Bernstein and Gary Lowe, Senior Director of Development, responded on the progress of this recommendation. It was reported that the case is being made to prospective donors about the possibility of creating funds for these chairs. The development office has worked to institute a process of soliciting funds that are directly earmarked to increase faculty of color. The process has been one of personal contacts, alumni mailings and specific proposals attempting to find such funds. In addition, the Tufts Tomorrow campaign has set a fundraising goal of $48 million by June 2002 as a means of meeting this recommendation for faculty hiring and development. Use of the newly formed University College for Citizenship and Public Service was also noted as a vehicle for meeting this recommendation.
On the flip side, there have been 6 endowed chairs and at this point none of them have been minority hires. An obstacle to meeting these ends has been the difficulty in securing funds in donor specific areas as well as the difficulty in translating these funds into actual hires and departmental decisions. To fund an endowed chair is expensive, running between $1.5 to $2.5 million, and donors often prefer to fund such things as construction of buildings, athletic facilities, and libraries. Furthermore, the Development Office cannot designate who will fill a new endowed chair position, as that is a departmental decision.
Although not explicitly stated on a response form, Dean Miaoulis reports that of seven offers for open positions in Engineering, six have gone to underrepresented groups in engineering, including women, in spring 2000. It is not yet known how many have accepted the offers, but this certainly represents an aggressive effort to diversify the Engineering faculty.
4a) Annual salary review sheets and performance reviews should evaluate commitment to diversity issues and explicitly ask for information about workshops, institutes, or meetings/conversions that the faculty, staff, or administrator has attended during the previous year.
Susan Ernst, Leila Fawaz, and Rob Hollister responded to the this recommendation, and we classify it as in place. For 5 years now, the annual Faculty Information Forms have inquired about activities that have furthered the universityís Mission Statement, including those related to diversity, in which faculty have participated. Specifically, faculty have the opportunity on these forms to describe how they incorporate diversity, race, and tolerance into their teaching, research and service. These are three areas where faculty are evaluated each year.
2b) A program to provide Native American students with faculty mentors who have experience in Native American culture should be initiated.
Kristine Dillon, Dean of Academic Services and Student Affairs responded to this recommendation. Although this recommendation has not yet been implemented, discussions will be held concerning this issue with newly named Class Teams for both first year and sophomore students. It is acknowledged that Native American students are underserved at Tufts, however their small numbers means that there will probably not be a formal program implemented. Faculty who have expertise in these areas will be recruited to be mentors, relying on their "good will" to participate.
2d) Extended training for pre-major advisors should be offered and, in some way, made a requirement.
Christopher Nwabeke, Dean of Advising responded to this recommendation. He is the new Dean of Advising and although he stated that this recommendation has not been implemented he has made it an important part of his execution plan.
2i) We recommend the establishment of an American Race and Cultures requirement. We further recommend that:
1) courses that satisfy this requirement focus on themes or issues in U.S. History, society, or culture; address theoretical and analytical issues relevant to understanding race, culture, and their relationship to social differences and equality in our society; take substantial account of groups drawn from at least three of the following: African American, Asian American, Latino/a, European Americans, and Native Americans; and are integrative and comparative in that students study each group in the larger context of American society, history or culture.
2) that courses taken to satisfy this requirement may also satisfy other requirements, e.g., Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and major requirements, etc.
3) that a committee of Tufts faculty and other consultants with expertise on the study of race and social equality be created, with input from the Office for faculty and Staff Education and Development, to establish formal criteria for the requirement and to determine which courses satisfy the requirement.
4) that faculty choosing to offer these courses are urged and given priority to be involved in faculty summer institutes for curricular and pedagogical transformation, designed to address the demands stemming from this requirement.
We recommend that the requirement be scheduled to begin three years from now so that a critical number of new and revised courses can be developed.
3a) We recommend that a thorough and systematic review of the undergraduate curriculum be conducted to determine how studentsí needs for education to engage diversity in the United States are met or not met at the moment. We recommend that reviewers are given assistance in review design by individuals that have expertise in American race and ethnicity in the curriculum.
These recommendations are in the discussion phase. The Educational Policy Committee incorporated the spirit of the recommendations into proposals for degree requirement changes that were forwarded to the Curriculum Committee. On April 3rd a Faculty Meeting was held during which the several proposals as framed by the Curriculum committee were discussed. Dialog will continue into the 2000-01 academic year.
The early sense of the discussion suggests that the faculty are not averse to incorporating diversity into the curriculum, although the format has not been discussed in detail. We hope that faculty workshops to enhance and retool curriculum to include race and diversity issues in courses across the many disciplines will result in students being exposed to such issues at many points in their time at Tufts.
Although these issues are being discussed in the decentralized arena of the faculty and departments, it is our recommendation that both administrators and students should lobby departments to implement both curricular transformation and filling of the critical gaps in our course offerings in Latino/a Studies and Asian American Studies. Appendix 3 is a list of courses that were offered in various race and ethnic studies areas. The discrepancy in the very low numbers of courses in these two fields compared to African American Studies, LGB issues, and general race and ethnic studies is alarming. We encourage departments to critically evaluate their course offerings, and develop new courses and hire new faculty whenever possible to address these curricular inequities.
2l) Coaches should receive diversity training; there should be conversations in the department of Athletics about race and how to engage diversity.
Athletics Director Bill Gehling responded to this recommendation and stated that this recommendation is in progress. In fact, this is the only department that identified outside funding for diversity training sessions. Not only is this department participating in training, they seem to be practicing the spirit of the recommendation as exemplified by the creation of a new high profile position that has been filled by a woman of color.
This department should clearly be commended for their efforts. We do recommend, however, that diversity training continue to be a priority. Specifically, training should be undertaken every two years if possible. Also, it is our understanding that the Tufts Athletics web site is one of the most, if not the most, visited sites in the University. With this in mind, we recommend that a prominent diversity component be added to the site so that these accomplishments can be recognized by and communicated to a very large audience.
3d.) During Orientation, a separate open house program should be implemented that is well-publicized as an event for all new students. The role of the centers as resources and not as clubhouses needs to be better established.
The Culture Center Directors, Jean Herbert, and Kristine Dillon responded that the status of this recommendation is well in progress. Advertising will be incorporated in the review and revision of Orientation. Part of the overall plan is to "demythologize" the Centers. Recommendations for this process include walking tours of the Centers during Orientation as well as increasing the interaction between Directors and departments (see 4j below). Publicity for the open houses has been communicated through the pre-semester mailing to students and parents, but it was acknowledged that new strategies must be developed to create a greater awareness of the Centers.
4b) The orientation programs for introducing the departments should be revised. Faculty who are describing the departments should be encouraged to include information that addresses that they engage diversity in their curriculum, and programming, and what their student/faculty diversity.
Jean Herbert and Kristine Dillon both responded that this recommendation is in progress. The Fall 2000 Orientation revisions will include elements of this recommendation, and a written handbook for the faculty who represent their department will be prepared to assist them with this process.
The primary means of communication about Orientation appears in brochures and website forms to incoming students and to the community via Student Services project efforts. The fact that there are several competing interests that need to be covered during Orientation has been noted as an obstacle.
4g) Anti-racism workshops should bee made available for students, just as they are for faculty.
Margery Davies responded to this recommendation by stating that it has not been implemented. The ODED staff participated in some discussions with Centers directors and other members of the Dean of Students staff about planning such discussions/workshops. No concrete plans have been decided as of yet.
4j) Center directors should be included in discussions and programs developed addressing race issues. The Office of Diversity Education and Development should work with the Center Directors to find ways for academic departments to work more collaboratively with the centers.
Kristine Dillon and Margery Davies both responded to this recommendation and have evaluated it as in progress. The ODED is in the early phase of a plan to bring the Directors to departments to discuss issues related to the student communities with which they work. Margery Davies and Bruce Reitman spoke at a Department Chairs meeting in March to present the idea and request input from departments on how the Center Directors could be helpful in faculty interactions with our diverse student population. Also, Center Directors are now going to be part of the class teams, which will make them more visible figures in the university.
We recognize that Center Directors are already very busy, however, it is our belief that these efforts will be beneficial.
4l) The Centers will need improved space, if efforts to expand the community of color and to enhance work on racial and diversity issues on campus work effectively.
Wayne Bouchard, Dean of Administration, responded to this recommendation and reported that it is well in progress. The Latino Center and the TLGB Center will be moving to Bolles House as soon as renovations are complete. This move is advantageous because the Centers that are moving will get increased space, and the Womenís Center (which is currently sharing space with the Latino Center) will remain where it is but will no longer be sharing the space. The Centers will remain centrally located on campus with this move. Also, early studies of the cost to renovate the Capen House basement are underway to provide increased space for meeting and/or multifunctional rooms. One new dilemma is the fact that the Asian American Center, which has been cramped for space for over a decade since Asian American enrollments have risen, has effectively lost space with the renovation to make the first floor fully accessible. We strongly encourage the administration to address their space needs in the near future.
These improvements are very important especially as the Tufts minority population continues to grow.
4m) We also recommend that performing artists of color be invited to campus to present their work or offer a master class.
The Center Directors and Leila Fawaz responded that this recommendation is in progress. Both respondents have spent considerable effort and money to further this recommendation. Events such as an Afro-Cuban Concert, small conferences, special lectures, and gallery and Museum School exhibits have been sponsored.
Admissions and Financial Aid recommendations are inextricably linked and difficult to evaluate separately. A large number of students of color enrolled at Tufts this past year, about 25% of the entering class of 2003. Given this success, rather than addressing individual recommendations that deal with these very important topics, we chose to meet with the relevant administrators to develop a clearer picture of what the success factors have been. The following presents information about the process of diversifying the student community.
We met with Bill Eastwood (Director of Financial Aid) and David Cuttino (Dean of Admissions) to discuss progress in recruiting a diverse undergraduate student body. Recruitment occurs at several stages Ė from informing students, to encouraging application, to encouraging enrollment of students who are accepted. For the classes of 2002 and 2003, Tufts attracted entering classes that included more students of color (2 to 5 percentage points higher in each of the 3 categories Black, Latino and Asian American, compared to a group of its ten closest competitor institutions). In comparison to a broader group of 31 institutions including the Ivy League and selective colleges and universities, Tufts enrolled classes with more Black and Latino students (1 to 2 percentage points higher) but lagged behind the average of these schools in enrolling Asian American students.
More generous Financial Aid packages may be responsible for enrolling students with substantial financial needs, but it is unclear what the university's commitment is to middle and upper middle class students of color. Students who transfer away from Tufts usually transfer to state institutions if the reasons are financial, or to more prestigious institutions in the Ivy League.
Some initiatives that may be contributing to the higher enrollments of students of color include increased involvement of alumni, students, and faculty of color in admissions programs. Specific initiatives include a letter of congratulations to every accepted student of color from President DiBiaggio and organized efforts on the part of African American alumni in New York City to speak with accepted Black students. Efforts will be made to involve Asian American and Latino/Latina alumni in contacting Asian American and Latino/Latina students who have been
accepted, in a similar outreach program. Such efforts helped in the overall yield and similar efforts are probably going to be undertaken this year. During April, members of the admissions staff, senior administrators, faculty and students met in various parts of the country with students who have been admitted to Tufts. Sponsored through the TAAP (Tufts Alumni Admissions Program) program, these receptions have featured students of color as speakers. The Admissions Office has increased efforts to have more accepted students of color visit the campus during April Open House, which has been a very effective tool in convincing students to accept an offer of admission. For students of color participating in the SCOPE (Students of Color Outreach Program) program, there are efforts to defer the costs of their visiting the campus.
At this time, 42% of Admissions staff are people of color. The Admissions Office staff might be one of, if not the most, racially and ethnically diverse offices on campus. Three staff members are African-Americans, including two Associate Directors, and two staff members are Latinas. While there may not be an increase in the number of staff positions in the future, the Panel made suggestions about the hiring of Asian Americans - perhaps the hiring of a recent alumnus who might have been involved in the SCOPE program. That person might initially be hired through a paid internship, until a more permanent position opened.
In recruiting each incoming class, the Admissions Office is trying to do more to initiate contact with students of color in high schools and to encourage them to apply in the fall. The Admissions Office is now involved with the National Hispanic Institute and hopes to have a more visible presence at summer programs and college fairs. Letters have been sent to high school students of color affiliated with the A Better Chance Program. There have been on-campus visits from high school sophomores and juniors affiliated with the Prep for Prep Program and with the InRoads Program. The former program prepares students from urban areas for study at elite institutions, while the latter provides summer jobs and mentoring for students of color interested in careers in business. Also, through Karen Johns, a Tufts alumna and former admissions officer and former development officer, Tufts is working more closely with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity to provide more opportunities in careers in business.
Under the Calder grant, Tufts has increased its contact with guidance counselors and prospective applicants from public schools in New York City. (The Calder Grant allows Tufts to offer scholarships to admitted students from public high schools in New York City who come from families earning less than $25,000 annually). Efforts have been made to have the Tufts' Inquiry Program involve high school students of color involved in the yearly EPIIC Symposium. Because many prospective students learn about Tufts through the internet, a suggestion was made that profiles of Tufts Alumni/ae of color may be a helpful addition to Tuftsí web page.
The Admissions Office is sensitive to the socio-economic and ethnic differences between and among Asian Americans. Extra attention has been focused on underrepresented groups of Asian Americans, particularly Vietnamese-Americans and Filipino/Filipina-Americans.
The Oversight Panel believes that hurdles still exist in maintaining and enhancing the diversity of our student community, but that progress is being made on a number of fronts. One area that still needs work is how to communicate to students who are already at Tufts what work is being done by Admissions and Financial Aid. We have suggested that in annual letters to students who are on financial aid more careful explanations of aid packages be presented. We hope that as alumni of color become more involved in the process of recruiting, the word will filter back to students still on campus. Finally, we suggest that these offices, as well as virtually all other administrative offices, need to develop new and creative ways to let the students at Tufts know what they are doing to promote a more equitably diverse university.
Graduate Student Study
In last yearís report, the Oversight Panel noted the lack of action to support graduate students of color. There is little information about the experiences of these students at Tufts. The Oversight Panel served as client for a group of graduate student in an Urban and Environmental Policy course in which the students conducted a study of diversity issues as they relate to graduate students. This population is in a unique position, where they may serve in authority positions as TAs, yet are students themselves. They often feel isolated and vulnerable, and the UEP study serves as a point of focus for these problems. The report that was prepared includes recommendations for addressing some of these problems (see Appendix 4).
Among the recommendations presented, two of the most important include establishing a formal grievance process for graduate students, and providing resources to the Culture Centers to include graduate students in the communities that they serve. The first of these arose from experiences of students in dealing with inappropriate comments made by professors in classes. The TAs were ostracized by the faculty and other students when the grad student complained. The grad student in such a situation has no power to protect him/herself from the conscious or unconscious retribution of a faculty member. A confidential process by which such incidents can be dealt with is needed.
The sense of isolation from the mainstream of student life was also expressed by many students. White majority graduate students as well as students of color reported a sense of feeling less important than the undergraduates at Tufts. When compounded by differences related to race and ethnicity, our graduate students of color can feel extremely isolated. The recommendation to expand the Culture Centersí availability to graduate students is one vehicle to address this problem. This would be a strain on the current Culture Centersí structure of staff and funding, so administrative funding support for such a recommendation would be essential. The international graduate students report a high level of satisfaction with the International Center for information and guidance; this Center may provide a model on which we can build to assist our graduate students of color.
We strongly encourage the Graduate School to direct serious attention to this report, and urge study of ways to more effectively assist graduate students of color.
The Oversight Panel is pleased to see that efforts have been ongoing in implementing recommendations, and that the Administration is instituting initiatives that we hope will create a truly welcoming climate for all students, faculty, and staff. There are structural changes planned for the coming year in many parts of the university that interface with students, providing an opportunity to institutionalize some of the recommendations. The new Student Services model is shaking up the way business is done in offices that deal directly with students and also in those offices that interface with faculty. In her new position as Dean of Academic Services and Student Affairs, Kristine Dillon is assembling Class Teams who will be responsible for incorporating some of the recommendations into their work. The Center Directors will participate as members of the Class Teams on a rotating basis. We believe that this is a good model, in that it gives the Center Directors more visibility, brings many more students into contact with them, and provides a direct vehicle for their input into policies and practices. The only reservation we have is that they already have a significant workload with their efforts at the Centers.
The recommendations that address curriculum explicitly include incorporation of a diversity requirement into the curriculum, and allude to an examination of where Tufts falls short in its course offerings. There is broad acknowledgement that we lack breadth and depth in Latino/a and Asian American Studies, but it is not clear how to redress this problem. Ultimately, it is up to departments to transform and expand their course offerings, but pressure from the administration and from the students may help to reinforce the need for change. These issues may arise in faculty meetings in 2000-01 when discussion of curricular reform continues. The Oversight Panel strongly urges that the weaknesses in our course offerings be corrected, and that resources for more general curricular transformation be provided to workshops and summer institutes that will serve as the vehicles for change.
The area in which lies the greatest need of work, however, is communication - how can the initiatives that are undertaken be communicated to the students? How can we ensure that all offices, programs, and departments are aware of what other offices are doing? How can feedback from the students be derived, and then incorporated as needed to ensure that implementation of recommendations is effective and has the intended result? Lack of communication seems to be an important obstacle. We hope that creative ways to engage students as well as faculty and staff in the important work of transforming the university into a place where all are welcomed will be developed.
Oversight Panel members, 1999-2000: Faculty: Anne Gardulski, Chair (Geology), Jeff Berry (Political Science), Lin Brown (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Francie Chew (Biology), and Gerald Gill (ex officio, History). Staff: Badi Foster (Lincoln-Filene Center). Graduate student: Lisette Garcia (Psychology). Undergraduate students: Sean Hassan (senior), Mernaysa Rivera (sophomore), Margery Yeager (junior). Administrative liaison: Michaele Whelan (ex officio)