Friday, December 19, 2014

The blog will be on hiatus between semesters.  Comments are still enabled.

Please check back in mid-January.

Thanks to all, and enjoy the holidays.

Monday, December 8, 2014


Submitted by “Concerned Minority Faculty”

The diversity front on a college campus is arguably where the importance of shared governance is most critical. It is also where the demise of shared governance at Colgate University is most poignant. The fact that individual minority faculty and students at Colgate have shouldered the brunt of the diminution of representative governing processes may come as no surprise to those familiar with the dynamics of race and ethnicity beyond academe. What stands out in regard to what we see as a rapid decline of process at Colgate is that it is yielding the kind of racial-ethnic effects few would believe even possible in 2014, let alone at a place like Colgate University. We do not mean to suggest that these dynamics are new, nor that they are confined to Colgate. Indeed, certain of our administrators are often quick to assert that Colgate is doing no worse than other academic institutions on the diversity front. It is the case, however, that under this administration, we believe the university has not only ceased to move forward; but, worse, it has begun to move backward.

In what follows and based on our own collective experiences and perspectives, we endeavor to detail briefly several ways in which we believe that the assault on shared governance is disproportionally claiming minority casualties and, more generally, advancement on the diversity front at Colgate University.

Ignoring Sound Information. A critical goal of shared governance is ensuring the decision-making process is ordered on the basis of sound information. Faculty and staff are considered to bring enormous experience, expertise and informational insights to the table. They expand the analytical focus beyond the limited vision of a handful of administrators. In our view, the 2009 Campus Climate Survey offered this administration an opportunity to draw upon systematic data and trends on the minority experience here, and to develop diversity reforms that would address the many issues and problems brought to light by the survey. Though not perfectly, the survey represented the voice of faculty, staff and students at large. Instead of acting on the survey, this administration seems to have placed that critical piece of information about differential experience in a file cabinet, where it has since remained. The result is that diversity-related problems and concerns at Colgate University have worsened, in our estimation, thanks in no small part to the disregard for sound information. Some of us were amazed, even stunned by the apparent theatrics of top administrators as they sat at the student protest, listening to the horrendous stories of student-after-student, with pious faces of concern---as if the 2009 Campus Climate Survey had not already made abundantly clear much of the same. The students rightly asked: “can you hear us now?”

Concentration of Power: Under a shared governance scheme, ideally, decisions are made on the basis of broad and variegated participation, in a transparent fashion. On the diversity front at Colgate, we believe, the president has not taken into consideration the views of minority faculty. It can be argued the elimination of the Vice President of Institutional Diversity is a compelling example of this. This position was the culmination of years of community-wide efforts. It was produced most immediately by the leadership efforts of a newly-commissioned Executive Diversity Council, which was chaired by the then-Dean of the Faculty and Dean of the College. The Council spent three years holding forums, gathering information through campus surveys, examining longitudinal data with the help of outside experts in the field, and so much more. At the conclusion of this careful, deliberate, and well-informed process came a proposal to centralize the university’s diversity efforts at the executive level, as part of a larger strategic plan. Some will remember that the journey to creating the position actually goes back to the early 1990s when the university established an Ethics Committee to address diversity issues. The impetus was repeated requests from minority faculty for a high ranking university officer to monitor issues of diversity, requests that were voiced in numerous meetings with presidents. For many of us, creation of the Vice President of Institutional Diversity signalled the university’s commitment to diversity. The position was entrusted with a level of responsibility and autonomy that until then was absent from university administration. As such, its creation was a mark of hope and progress on the diversity front.
To be sure, well-intentioned people can (and did) disagree with whether this particular structural outcome was optimal. However and importantly, it was an outcome that was produced by a process in which literally hundreds of individuals were involved. It was the governance process at work, pulling in all of the pertinent perspectives and information points. One of this president’s first moves upon assuming his post was to eliminate the executive diversity position. It was gone in one fell swoop.

Public Image Trumps Problem-Solving: Shared governance is not without its weaknesses. The sometimes endless debate among faculty members in committee meetings is at least one aspect of shared governance that occasionally evokes criticism. This notwithstanding, what is almost always clear is that these deliberations are motivated by a collective interest in arriving at the best solution. On the diversity front at Colgate, rather than earnest deliberation and introspection, it seems to us that public image trumps problem-solving. Take for example the student protests. If the students had not succeeded in garnering media attention, would this administration have acted at all to address problems the students laid bare? A couple of indications suggest the answer is ‘no.’ One, this administration essentially sat on the 2009 campus climate survey as far as we can tell, a survey that told the same stories aired by the student protesters, though in a more systematic fashion. The problems had been brewing for some time, only in the shadows and not in full view of the general public. Two, we have lost count of the many diversity-centered emails from this administration that have come only since the student protest. Before that event, his only campus-wide email devoted to diversity was that of April 14, 2011, which ironically abolished the position of Vice President of Institutional Diversity.

Disregard for Procedure and Faculty Handbook Policy: The purpose of established policies and procedures in a system of shared governance is to ensure not only that the best and informed decisions and actions are undertaken, but also that fairness and equity are maintained in the process. Under this administration, we believe there is a disturbing pattern of wholesale disregard of procedures. It is one that has been faithfully noted by faculty across the campus, but also one that is proving to be acutely problematic for faculty and students of color. The two loci where we consider the disregard for procedure to be most egregious are the Equity Grievance Process and also the Student Grade Appeal Process.

Equity Grievance Process. A potentially troubling aspect of the Equity Grievance Process is that, at least on the surface, it seems that minority males, especially international males, are disproportionally charged, found guilty, and then expelled through the EGP process. Perhaps equally disturbing is that it is quite hard to get a straight answer from administrators regarding the numbers. At the September 2014 faculty meeting, Associate Provost for Equity and Diversity “noted that two men of color and two white men have been expelled as a result of EGP proceedings.” This means, men of color who comprise just 10% of the Colgate student body constituted half of those who were expelled as a result of the EGP proceedings according to just that report. We are told the process is in place to promote the safety of women, something we very strongly applaud. But, on a campus where the number of white males dwarf the number of minority males and where the chief diversity officer admits being “acutely aware of the problem of under-reporting of incidents of sexual assault” (Sept. Faculty Mtg.), would it not be prudent for the university to undertake a more concerted effort to encourage all alleged victims to come forward and report perpetrators, and not chiefly those who report minority perpetrators? Wouldn’t this be a bolder step toward protecting our female students? And, even where the university claims merely to respond to allegations, what stops it from carefully weighing evidence before proceeding – especially in cases where the university is the official complainant and the victim chooses to not participate? This, after all, is a critical feature of criminal jurisprudence in the real world, that is there are arraignments, preliminary hearings, evidentiary hearings, etc. that are mandated in order to spare defendants a full blown trial when the evidence is insufficient. Nonetheless, as in other areas, in the case of the EGP process too, we observe an administration content to leave important questions of equity and fairness to the attorneys. Finally, since the Obama administration requires the EGP process, Colgate seems to use that as a shield to claim it is complying with the Justice Department’s new guidelines. This is much like the ‘ole blame Obama for everything strategy; fine, but we should all be clear that the university is arguably building its reputation for making the campus safer on the backs of black and international males.

Grade Review Process. The grade review process offers another ripe area for exposing the racialized effects of what we see as this administration’s disregard for process and procedure. The vast majority of minority faculty whom we encounter can share stories of students challenging a grade either at the departmental level or at the divisional level. On the other hand, the vast majority of non-minority faculty probably cannot. In years past, some department chairs and division directors were careful to ensure that the grade appeal process did not reflexively channel the society-driven biases that certain of our students arrive here with. As well, some chairs and directors helped to ensure the appeal process was not used simply to punish faculty for upholding standards of excellence and high expectations. They did so by judiciously actuating the grade review process, such as moving forward only when submission of an assignment was not in question. It is our opinion that, in recent times, almost any and everything goes. Moreover, given the disproportional representation of faculty of color among those subject to grade reviews, by extension, it is faculty of color who primarily suffer from abuse of the grade review process. Critically, we believe the recent mishandling is tied chiefly to the decisions of the associate deans of the faculty, more so than the department chairs and division directors in whom the Faculty Handbook chiefly entrusts the grade review process. Two recent examples of such intervention both involved faculty of color who were pressured to change their grades and/or policies; one of these challenges involved an individual assignment grade in mid-semester. While the details cannot be shared because of the confidentiality surrounding student work, we contend that these two disturbing examples mark not only a departure from clearly delineated Handbook procedure, but they are also without precedent. In both instances, it just so happens that women faculty of color were on the receiving end.

Administrative Excess. We agree with many who would label the just-described incidents as manifestations of administrative excess, which itself is yet another nail in the coffin of shared governance. According to an inset of A Better Colgate in a recent Maroon News issue, the number of non-faculty staff at Colgate has increased 157% in the past decade, compared to an 8% increase for faculty. Of course, these newly-acquired administrators must do something to justify their posts, which too often means more “decision-making” and more intrusiveness. Admittedly, grade review decisions affecting minority faculty seldom result in a reversal. However, what the process itself and the administrative excess manifested therein do produce is a very different kind of reality for faculty of color. It would be impossible to fully convey the devastating effects of repeated grade reviews such as these. Among other things, they undermine faculty judgment, competence, and pedagogical authority (and professional authority). We decline even to try to concretize the lifelong damage rendered by the university’s EGP process to those unfairly charged and expelled through that process. The abuse of grade reviews forces many of us to incessantly document every decision, every grade, and every communication. The racialized effects of the EGP process in turn have a chilling effect on the sense of belonging and security that minority males can claim. In short, given the low regard for process and procedure, faculty of color must “brace ourselves” for regular challenges to our teaching experience and competence. Students of color operate under a cloud unlike that hovering over their non-minority counterparts, as they endeavored to highlight in the recent protest.

Non-Representativeness. Implicit in many campus governance systems is the idea that representativeness is more than just a matter of right in the legalistic sense, but it is a matter of right also in the sense that it helps to ensure that a broad spectrum of voices weigh in on university operations. People from different backgrounds will offer different vantage points. For this reason, governance committees are composed of faculty from across the disciplines and from different ranks. As well, the university has more recently claimed to value diversity in hiring and appointments. Yet, ironically, this is arguably the whitest, least representative administration at Colgate University in recent memory. None of the associate deans of the faculty is from a racial or ethnic minority group, nor are the deans of the faculty and college, nor are any of the appointed members of the dean’s advisory council.

The Diffusion of Administrative Excess. The diffusion of a culture of procedural impropriety and administrative excess is what ultimately dooms the vitality of shared governance. Without the aiding and abetting of other members of the Colgate community, it would have been impossible for this administration to carry out the considerable damage to collegiality that we believe has occurred. It is a one-man show that requires props, stage hands, etc. As a case in point, the grade reviews and the many infractions that we assert have occurred are most immediately the work of those charged with overseeing the grade appeal process. The EGP process that is producing the apparently uneven racial outcomes could not function without the aiding and abetting of longtime faculty and staff who endorse its decisional outcomes. It is this diffusion of a culture of administrative excess that we believe fundamentally undergirds the demise of faculty governance and its disadvantageous effects on minority faculty and students. A book titled The Strange Career of Jim Crow  asserts there was more Jim Crow practiced in the South than was ever written in that region’s law books during the segregation era. Jim Crow was deeply embedded and abided within that region’s culture. Hence, we title this piece: From Colgate to Crow-Gate.

In closing, a word about who we are and whom we represent is in order. We do not purport to speak for all faculty of color, nor do we suggest that the foregoing represents the entirety of the minority experience at Colgate University. We could not ask for brighter, more inspiring and more conscientious students than those we have the privilege to teach. We value and lean on our department colleagues and find in many of them a ready place of support and encouragement. Still, what we offer here is a commentary on the state of governance and diversity at Colgate as we see it, and on the basis of our combined experience of 125+ years at Colgate---as associate and full professors, across the disciplines, and with widely varied ideological and political perspectives. We believe that Colgate University has the potential to set a new national standard for faculty diversity in academia, but only if a number of pressing issues for faculty of color are judiciously and expeditiously addressed, including some not discussed here, such as: equity in faculty hiring, promotion and tenure; equity in faculty access to teaching and research funds and support; and, equity in intra-departmental leadership. Given our real fear of retaliation, a fear that many have already realized the hard way, some of us decline to identify ourselves in this public forum. We assure the reader that our identities, as we have described them, have been revealed through our Colgate email addresses to the editor for this blog. Our ultimate goal is to raise public awareness about our experience on the diversity front, as shared governance is whittled away at Colgate University.

The above post does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the AAUP membership or that of its officers, nor does inclusion of the post on this website constitute an endorsement by the Colgate chapter of the AAUP.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Diversity and equity: White men “just don’t get it”

O. Nigel Bolland

Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology and Caribbean Studies, Emeritus

When I arrived at Colgate in 1972 it was in the throes of becoming a more diverse and equitable institution. For most of its history Colgate had been a very exclusive place: only White and Elite Male Protestants need apply. When women were first admitted in the 1970s they were viewed as an experiment. There was also a handful of non-White, non-Elite, and non-Protestant male students, but Colgate remained a distinctly WEMPy place, and proud of it.

   As an undergraduate at Hull University in England, a graduate student at McMaster University in Canada, and a faculty member at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, I had not encountered an institution like Colgate and I found it hard to understand. I was used to sharing classrooms with women, and with students and faculty of different ethnicities and nationalities. In fact, I thought that such diversity was an essential aspect of a good environment for higher education, but at Colgate this was still considered a novel experiment. I was puzzled by the answer given to me when I asked, in all innocence at a fraternity dinner, why students chose to live in a fraternity. “We want to live with people who are just like us,” I was told. That sounded to me like the antithesis of what a college environment should be.

   Diversity is not just a numbers game, as the recent demonstrations at Colgate have reminded us. What diversity should be about is seeking and appreciating differences, as a way to learn about and grow in the world we share. In a powerful column in today’s NY Times (11/16/2014), Nicholas Kristof writes, “Those of us who are white have a remarkable capacity for delusions,” and “one element of white privilege today is obliviousness to privilege.” More specifically, I would add, one aspect of elite-white-male privilege is that we don’t have to understand “others’ in order to get on. Standing, as we do, on the shoulders of our privileged ancestors, the view looks good, and we have no need to “get it,” but from any other standpoint people need to figure out how to succeed, and even to survive, in what is for them an alien environment. That was true for the first women and people of color among the students and faculty at Colgate in the 1970s, and some of that has not changed, or changed enough.

   When Douglas MacDonald wrote, “Obviously, a female cannot by the definition of identity politics understand the difficulty of being male in capitalist America,” I think he has missed the point that all people who are in a socially inferior status need to understand those who are in a superior status - but the reverse is not true. Elite white males don’t have to “get it” in order to get on. They can just be themselves, but everyone else must understand them, or else…

   So, is there a problem of gender equity at Colgate, as MacDonald suggests, or is the problem just the result of one’s viewpoint? In 1983 male college students outnumbered females in the US by 12,465,000 to 6,441,000, or about 2:1. Since the late 1970s, females outpaced males in college enrollment nationally, as in many other countries also. In 1994, 63% of recent female and 61% of male high school graduates were enrolled in college the fall following graduation. By 2012, the relevant figures were 71% for women and, still, 61% for men. The preponderance of female students in higher education now prevails across all types of schools. The US average in 2008 was 43.62% male and 56.38% female undergraduates. In private schools the ratio is  about 40-60, which is a more extreme ratio than Colgate's. There are many reasons for this shift, and there has been a lot of discussion about it, but one reason is surely not a “prejudice based on gender,” either in the personnel or the decisions in Colgate’s Admissions Office. So I suggest that this is perceived as a problem of equity only from a particular viewpoint, in this case, perhaps, a viewpoint that considers it normal for Colgate to be a largely male institution.

   The perception that Elite-White-Males are losing their predominant position in society often results in charges of “reverse discrimination” because such people “just don’t get it.” We should not be surprised that at Colgate, with its long WEMPy tradition, there are still people who feel somewhat endangered, but it is really only their exclusive claim to a privileged position that is threatened by change. Colgate has, throughout its history, been an exclusive and inequitable institution, and we should be clear that we understand that its social function was to reproduce the elite of society. As that function, the social reproduction of a privileged elite, became less acceptable and defensible in the later twentieth century, Colgate, like similar institutions, began to change. Like all institutions, however, Colgate defended its traditions and was reluctant to change, and we need to remember that, as a privileged institution, it had substantial resources to defend itself.

   I agree with Brian Moore that, “As a community, we have been in denial about our defects for too long.” As an institution designed to reproduce privilege, Colgate has needed to be pushed time after time to take each step towards greater diversity and equity. When the next history of Colgate is recorded it should include, for example, an account of the occupation of the administration building by students and faculty who pushed the Board of Trustees to divest from South Africa. We can now be proud of the decision, but we also need to remember and acknowledge the circumstances in which the decision was made. It was a struggle. Similarly, today, we need to understand that further changes are needed in the community, the curriculum, and the culture of Colgate. The nature of the problem needs first to be openly and widely acknowledged, however, before the cure can be achieved. So long as we “just don’t get it,” and for so long as we try to limit ourselves to sharing our views and lives with people who are just like ourselves, we will remain part of the problem.

The above post does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the AAUP membership or that of its officers, nor does inclusion of the post on this website constitute an endorsement by the Colgate chapter of the AAUP.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Colgate Is Neither Inclusive Nor Equitable

Brian L. Moore

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of History and Africana and Latin American Studies
Director, Africana and Latin American Studies Program

On Monday, September 22, 2014 about 350 students who comprise the Association of Critical Collegians (ACC) engaged in a sit-in at the James B. Colgate building. They were a very diverse group, female and male, black and white, Latino, Native American, and Asian, who believe that enough is enough and they must take a stand for what is just, fair and right.
The underlying rationale of the student action is simple. They are seeking an inclusive, equitable, and respectful intellectual and social environment on this campus. That’s all. Many faculty supported their campaign; and the statements authored by the President, Dean of the Faculty/Provost, Dean of the College, and the Chair of the Board of Trustees were heartening. They all condemned the despicable acts of racial bigotry that several students of color publicly testified to very powerfully and movingly during the sit-in. But were those statements by our administrators enough? Should they not have been accompanied by fulsome apologies to students of color for being given the wrong impression about what life at Colgate would be like? This was evident in the students’ complaints about the entire admissions process which topped the list of their concerns. Colgate needs to atone for many, too many, years of hurt suffered by students of color. A formal institutional apology is the very least we could do to indicate clearly that we are really serious about turning a new page.
And, what about the bigots who continue to make the lives of students of color at Colgate miserable? Have they never been identified? Why has none been apprehended and held to account? They live and/or attend classes on campus! So what are Campus Safety and our administrators doing about them? And, if these bigots are so sure they are on the side of right (no pun intended), why don’t they step forward and own-up to their deeds? Or are they just weak cowards and bullies whose behavior is conditioned by fear that their traditional entitlements are threatened by the presence of students of color on campus?
Those questions make the condemnations of the miscreants seem like déjà vu. This is not the first time students have raised their voices against racism and institutional inequalities at Colgate, but the responses have always been generally similar. This, then, raises the question, what’s new this time? Well, on September 26 the students were successful in pressing the administration to agree to issue a “Joint Message from Colgate University and the Association of Critical Collegians” which not only seeks to address twenty-one specific issues related to chronic institutional inequalities, but very importantly sets clear timelines for resolving many. But why did it have to take a student protest before our administrators committed themselves to addressing these issues? Did they not know that these problems have existed for very many years? So why were they not dealt with before?
It is regrettable that there were some notable voices on campus in opposition to the student concerns. What could be wrong with the principles of inclusivity, equality and respect, one might ask? These opposing voices inadvertently serve to empower bigots on campus who cowardly hide in the shadows and commit their despicable acts of hate. These opposing voices render it very difficult for governance committees to make meaningful institutional changes to overturn historical inequalities and injustices. Why? Some of these folks prefer Colgate to remain as it was and, for the most part, still is: a place where they feel comfortable, but which unfortunately is neither inclusive nor equitable for students, faculty and staff of color; a sort of academic country club with all the familiar restrictions on membership; a place that continues to regenerate the race-class hierarchy of old America. Colgate is not unique in this respect, of course. The liberal-arts-college model is, in part, implicitly designed to do precisely this. But times have changed and we must adapt to those changes.
For many years Colgate has been sending mixed and often misleading messages to our students. “The Thirteen Goals of a Colgate Education” appear fair as policy and promise noble things. Our institutional practices, especially those related to the issue of diversity, however, deliver something quite different. Interestingly, we took (albeit reluctantly) a step towards resolving some of the problems associated with the lack of diversity and inclusivity when, in 2008, the office of Dean of Diversity (DoD) was established, even though it lacked real power to introduce significant change. But instead of empowering it to do just that, the office was abolished in 2011! That decision seemed to suggest that Colgate was merely paying lip-service to the idea of diversity. The September student protest has clearly demonstrated that the institutional structures which have replaced the DoD are palpably inadequate and are not working effectively. A strengthened office of DoD would probably have addressed many of the issues the students have raised and may have made their sit-in unnecessary. It would certainly better aid in the recruitment and retention of faculty of color, an issue that the students also expressed concern about. So perhaps the time is ripe for President Herbst to revisit his 2011 decision to get rid of the office of Dean of Diversity. Let’s start a fresh conversation about that.
Inclusivity is not just a social issue. It relates as well to what happens in the classroom: not only the way classes are conducted and how students are treated, but also what department courses and curricula are designed to do. Curricular issues are, of course, the exclusive purview of faculty. However, item 10 of the students’ demands identified the curriculum as one of their major concerns, though it specifically targeted the Core, especially Global Engagements. But is the Core the only aspect of our broad curriculum that should be reexamined? Shouldn’t faculty be asked to take a serious look, not just at individual courses, but at the content, structure, and orientation of entire department curricula to determine if they privilege any particular intellectual or cultural tradition? If so, does this have the effect of marginalizing students of color in their learning environment? And further, if so, shouldn’t faculty be encouraged to explore ways to correct this so that courses and curricula become more inclusive without undermining their intellectual/academic integrity?
Some departments might respond by saying that they now have courses on a variety of global issues as well as specifically on “other” parts of the world like Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia; and on specific ethnic groups like African Americans and Native Americans. (They might even claim that their faculty is more diverse, even if that means just one or two faculty of color.) This may be all well and good, at least superficially. But a closer, more critical perusal might reveal a very different reality: that students may not be required or encouraged to take more than one or two courses from these “non-traditional” subject areas to fulfil their Major/Minor requirements; or that the teaching resources devoted to these areas are woefully thin. Possibly, then, a mirage may have been generated, while no substantive curricular change has occurred. Is it all smoke and mirrors? So, to clear the air and in the spirit of the September 26 “Joint Message”, even though this is not specifically listed therein, perhaps the time has come for the Dean of the Faculty and the Division Directors to urge departments to examine their curricula critically in order to identify and try to eliminate any exclusionary or marginalizing biases.
Finally, to a matter that may have slipped quietly beneath the radar. As we approach the bicentennial anniversary of Colgate in 2019, we should recall that one of the big items earmarked for the celebration will be a new history of the institution. Wonderful and timely! But it is my hope that this history will not just reflect the glories and achievements of “traditional” Colgate over the last two centuries, but will also offer readers an honest account and appraisal of the challenging experiences and struggles of students, faculty and staff of color, and how these have been dealt with. While a separate chapter (with appropriate pictures of student protests) is certainly required to treat these struggles adequately, it is also very important that Colgate’s minorities should not be written out of, or marginalized from, the main body of its new history. Their accomplishments and achievements must be fully interwoven in the broad historical account if this new history is to be a truly inclusive record that we can all be satisfied with.
The new history should also talk about interdisciplinary programs like the Africana and Latin American Studies Program (ALST) and their impact on the curriculum. In doing so, it should seek to explain why, for instance, it took Colgate fifteen years after the first Black Studies department was established in the country to set up ALST in 1983. That would furnish readers with a good understanding of Colgate’s historical and persistent attitudes to issues of diversity whether in the curriculum or otherwise, precisely what our students have highlighted in their latest protest.
Colgate University is at a critical juncture of its two-hundred-year existence. Certainly at least for the last decade, perhaps longer, it has been in a perennial state of crisis as it has been obliged to adjust to a more diverse world which it has not yet embraced. So every two or so years, an outrage of one sort or another occurs that galvanizes the student body, in particular the “new kids on the block” (students of color), into protest action. Perfunctory condemnatory statements are routinely issued by administrators, but no one is ever apprehended or penalized. Then it’s back to business as usual.
As a community, we have been in denial about our defects for too long. Yet, on the positive side, we can take comfort and assurance from those features of our own history which clearly demonstrate that good results come from greater inclusiveness. Who would argue that the presence of women since the 1970s, for instance, has not significantly improved the intellectual quality and tone of campus life? So now it’s time to take the next step and embrace our expanding ethnic diversity fully. But like an alcoholic, we must first recognize and admit our unwholesome condition before we can seek and identify a lasting cure.
We must, therefore, start by acknowledging the hard fact (perhaps indigestible for some folks) that Colgate is neither inclusive nor equitable. While this admission is implicit in the September 26 “Joint Message”, we must be overt in acknowledging this reality. Only then will we unleash the dynamic forces within our midst that can fulfil the dreams of what most of us believe Colgate can and should be: a place that truly welcomes all regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, class, religion, gender or sexual orientation; regardless of whether one can trace one’s ancestry back to the “Mayflower” or to the inappropriately named “Desire” (an American slave ship); regardless of whether one’s folks came via Ellis Island or across the Rio Grande.
So, to the ACC, please keep up your campaign and vigilance, and pass the torch to future generations of students. La lucha continua! To our administrators and fellow faculty, we have a lot left to do. So let’s do it honorably, comprehensively and expeditiously. Let’s all do it for a better Colgate.

The above post does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the AAUP membership or that of its officers, nor does inclusion of the post on this website constitute an endorsement by the Colgate chapter of the AAUP.