Cedar Crest College Home

CONTACT:

Tatiana Diaz
Director of Diversity & Inclusion
Allen House, 2nd floor, Office #1
tadiaz@cedarcrest.edu
610-606-4666 ext.3596

Response to Alumnae Concerns

August 27, 2020

Over the course of the Spring and Summer 2020, a group of passionate and engaged alumnae raised numerous concerns about the College’s climate of equity and inclusion and anti-racism efforts. Two sets of questions and concerns were presented to College administration for consideration and response. As a result of two open forums with alumnae, sustained discussion among senior leadership and in the faculty, and with input from the Diversity and Inclusion Council, the following response is offered in a spirit of consciousness of where we have fallen short of our ideals, an update on what we have been able to accomplish, and a commitment to a better future for our diverse and vibrant community.

1. Training for Faculty and Staff and Students

Faculty

115

 

Staff

187

 

Complete

58

50.43%

Complete

129

68.98%

Missing 1

22

19.13%

Missing 1

16

8.56%

Missing 2

19

16.52%

Missing 2

21

11.23%

Missing 3

11

9.57%

Missing 3

14

7.49%

Hasn’t started

5

4.35%

Hasn’t started

9

4.81%

2. Events and programming for students of color at Cedar Crest College

3. Communication with College officials on race-related issues

Any member of our community can report a bias concern, online or in person, and anonymously if they so choose.  We have a strong non-retaliation policy in place and allow reports to be submitted at any time in order to avoid even a prospect of retaliation (such as after the semester is over and grades have been submitted). The President maintains weekly office hours and welcomes anyone to speak on any issue without needing to state the reason for the visit in advance. 

4. Diversity and Inclusion Council

The Diversity and Inclusion Council was established as a result of the 2015-2016 Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Recommendations.  Its mission is to advocate for a living, learning, and working campus environment that values diversity, inclusive excellence, and equity-mindedness so as to better enable Cedar Crest College to educate the next generation of leaders.

Vision

The Diversity and Inclusion Council shall lead, coordinate, and monitor Cedar Crest College’s strategic commitment to diversity, advising the President on how to promote an inclusive environment that supports students, faculty, and staff of diverse identities.

To achieve its mission, the Diversity and Inclusion Council will: 

5. Courses for Students

6. Bias Response 

7. Policing

8. Retention of Students

Retention rate from Freshman Year to Sophomore Year:


Entrance Year

Black Students

Hispanic Students

White Students

2015

61%

73%

86%

2016

59%

85%

83%

2017

88%

96%

77%

2018

73%

72%

75%

2019

*

*

*

*Data on the class entering in 2019 will be available in mid-September and will be updated at that time.
Graduation rates are reported on six years after entry.  Thus, the graduation rate for students who entered in the fall of 2015 will be reported in 2021.

9. Faculty and Staff Diversity

10. Institutional Research

Requests for data reported by race have been made, and we have made every effort to provide the data we have, like the retention data.  One of our institutional priorities this year will be to review our data collection policies and procedures and to increase our capacity to report by demographic, including race.

11. Next steps – 2020-2021 Academic Year

Much work remains to be done to become the Cedar Crest College we aspire to be. Over the course of the summer of 2020, I have met with the Diversity and Inclusion Council for their input on the next big steps for Cedar Crest to take, and participated in the creation of the Board’s special committee. I held a retreat with my cabinet in early August, informed by the Diversity and Inclusion Council’s recommendations and the open forums with alumnae, and we determined the work of the 2020-21 academic year would be centered around eight broad goals, each encompassing further work being done in departments all across campus. These goals are:

Goal 1: Increase the diversity of faculty and staff

In a year where we will do little hiring, the priority will be to ensure that candidate pools are sufficiently diverse and that 30% of new candidates are of diverse backgrounds. Interfolio will assist the search committees assembled for this work. Human Resources, the Provost and the President take primary responsibility for this work.

Goal 2: Support the faculty in their commitment to achieve a more racially and ethnically diverse curriculum

The recommendations of the Diversity and Inclusion Council overlap in many ways with the action plan the Faculty Council developed and approved, especially with regard to curriculum.  The faculty take primary responsibility for this work.

Goal 3: Support, celebrate and recognize anti-racist work by faculty and staff

The Provost has committed to ensuring that the anti-racist work of faculty is addressed in annual faculty self-evaluations. The Provost also commits to the inclusion of teaching, scholarship and service that involves diversity and equity into the formal definition of faculty responsibilities and to recognizing these through tenure and promotion decisions. The Provost takes primary responsibility for this work.

Goal 4: Review our data collection processes and capacities, to support the work of ensuring equity

We will review all of our data collection processes to determine where we may need to increase our capacity to collect and analyze racial and ethnic demographic data. The Provost and the Director of Institutional Research take primary responsibility for this work.

Goal 5: Ensure the Alumnae Affairs office is equitable in its programming and outreach

The Alumnae Affairs Office has committed to creating a communications strategy that is equitable in its engagement of alumnae, to celebrating the achievements of BIPOC alumnae equitably and intentionally, and to creating chapters of alumnae for BIPOC and other alumnae who have been historically underrepresented. The Vice President for Institutional Advancement and the Director of Alumnae Affairs take primary responsibility for this goal.

Goal 6: Review campus police disaggregate data

We will evaluate trends, impact and outcomes and determine if improvements to practice can be implemented.  We will benchmark data where possible. Human Resources and the Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer take primary responsibility for this work.

Goal 7: Review financial aid policies and practices to ensure equity

Student Financial Services is collecting in one document their practices for awarding financial aid to students based upon our current merit and need based aid structures.  We will review the data and processes for equity. Student Financial Services will take primary responsibility for this work.

Goal 8: Ensure an equitable student experience on campus, in housing and through student activities

This year we will review and update housing and student policies to decrease calls to campus police, work to increase events for BIPOC students, work to create mentoring opportunities for BIPOC students, and examine historical data on discipline, expulsions, retention and persistence by race and ethnicity. The Athletics department has created its own action plan regarding the student-athlete population. This work will primarily be undertaken by the Dean of Students, the Director of Diversity & Inclusion and the Dean of Student Success primarily.

The recommendations of the Diversity and Inclusion Council lay out a road map for important work that will take several years.  I and my leadership team are supportive of the recommendations provided and will ensure that moving forward they are included in our action plans and outcomes for the next several years. 

Updates

Diversity and Inclusion Reports 

Diversity and Inclusion Report – July 2020 

2016-2019 Bias Response Team Report

Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Report, 2015-2016

Diversity Council 

Transgender Task Force Report - April 2016

Board of Trustees Committee

Sylvia Betz Gardner, Chair of the Board of Trustees, announced the formation of a committee to address the impact of institutionalized racism at Cedar Crest and to coordinate efforts across all of the various stakeholders in our community: current students, alumnae, faculty, staff and trustees. 

7.16.20 – The Board Committee participated in an open alumnae forum.

8.27.20 -Response to Alumnae Concerns

Charge to the ad hoc Committee for Racial Equity

The Board of Trustees and the President of Cedar Crest College created a special Committee for Racial Equity, co-chaired by a trustee and an alumna, and consisting of faculty, staff, trustees, current students and alumnae along with the President and the Chair of the Board.

read more

The committee has been broadly charged with assessing areas of opportunity to deepen and expand initiatives to address racism and create a culture of inclusion from an institutional perspective. Beginning with an inventory of the College’s existing initiatives and procedures to dismantle institutionalized racism and create an inclusive culture, the Committee will 1) advise the College on critical areas not currently being addressed by existing initiatives; 2) review the institutional Anti-Racist Action Plan for 2020-2021 and make recommendations to the College regarding the Anti-Racist Action Plan for 2021-2022 and beyond; and 3) assist the College with creating an effective communications process. The inclusion of representatives from all of the College’s stakeholders will ensure that the action plan reaches across all aspects of the College community.

The committee will coordinate with existing efforts on campus to address diversity, equity and inclusion, including those of the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, the Diversity and Inclusion Council, faculty committees, and the President’s Cabinet, all of which carry institutional responsibility for ensuring that the values of the institution are represented in the College’s policies, programs and culture.

Racial Equity Committee Members

President:
Elizabeth Meade

Board Chair:
Sylvia Gardner ’71

Co-Chairs of Committee:
Tracy Broomall ’93
Rena Pacheco ’12

Trustees:
Joni Berner ’75
Meg Schoenemann ’78
Carolyn Stennett

Alumnae:
Jade Abston ’12
Noalani Hendricks ’18
Ashanta Floyd Erney ’13

Staff & Faculty:
Tatiana Diaz
LuAnn Fletcher
Stefani Gomez
Elizabeth Ortiz ’01

Students:
Gabryel Porter ’21
Lee Sanford
Sulakshmi Vaid ’21
Daria Warner ’21

Administrative Support:
Meghan Grady

Community Conversations 

Race and Racism Talking Circle
Tuesday, July 21 at 4 p.m. via GoTo Meeting
Check your Cedar Crest email for details.

Alumnae Open Forum
Thursday, July 16 at noon via Zoom
Visit @cedarcrestalumnae on Facebook for details.

Processing Racism During COVID-19
Wednesday, July 15 at 3 p.m. via GoTo Meeting
Check your Cedar Crest email for details. 

Talking Circle: Maintaining the Momentum #BLM – June 30, 2020 

Juneteenth: Information and Resources – June 19, 2020 

Talking Circle: Black Lives Matter – June 16, 2020 

Institutionalized Racism in Higher Education — Zoom Meeting hosted by The Forgotten – June 10, 2020 

Letter to Alumnae from Rena Pacheco '12 – June 5, 2020

Facebook Post from The Forgotten

Faculty and Staff of Color – Colleague Resource Group  

This network was launched in June 2020 and aims to foster connections and develop community for Faculty and Staff of Color at Cedar Crest College. If you self-identify as a person of color and are interested in participating in this group contact Tatiana Diaz, director of diversity and inclusion. 

This group will: