The Moon Room

A Community Forum on Guilford College Faculty Life

Clerk’s Committee response to demands from Integrity for Guilford

May 12th, 2016

A number of faculty members have encouraged the faculty to engage directly with the demands and concerns raised by the student group, Integrity for Guilford. Many faculty members are working in different areas and in different ways to address these issues, and some faculty felt strongly that the faculty should respond directly to students.

The following response was prepared by Clerk’s Committee and raised in draft form at the faculty meeting on April 27, 2016. There was a good deal of discussion on the draft, but time for the meeting ran out without consensus on the draft. The Clerk pledged to address the issues and suggested edits raised by faculty. Following the meeting, this edited version was prepared by Clerk’s Committee and distributed to faculty for further feedback.

We had initially hoped to have a statement approved by the full faculty meeting. However, because we did not have another faculty meeting this year, Clerk’s Committee decided to approve this document as coming from Clerk’s Committee, not from the full faculty. Although the document has been edited with feedback from faculty, and many faculty support the document, Clerk’s Committee does not speak for faculty or for the faculty meeting.

The Clerk’s Committee statement is below. I hope that students (including Integrity for Guilford) will continue to work with faculty and community members to make Guilford a better institution and one that always lives its values.

— Dave Dobson, Clerk of Faculty

 

To Concerned Students:

The Guilford College Faculty are in receipt of your demands and have begun conversations about our response to those that are most relevant to our role at the College. In this society, any college lives in a system of oppression and racism, and Guilford manifests both. We affirm a commitment to work to dismantle these systems.

We are concerned that your experiences at Guilford have led to these demands. All students at Guilford have the right to an effective education. You have the right to an environment where you are not made unsafe or unheard because of your race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, socio-economic status, religious beliefs, place of origin, or other identity categories.

As a faculty, we are committed to taking steps that will make Guilford’s educational opportunities open to all equally. We are also committed to supporting all students in your pursuit of the excellent and multi-faceted education available at Guilford.

There are two demands that are specific to faculty responsibilities:

2. The hiring of more people of color in faculty, staff and resident advisor positions.

  • Comprehensive diversity training written into job contracts.
  • Students of color must be able to feel as safe and comfortable as white students when talking to elders and leaders on campus.

  • We demand that by the academic year 2016-17, administrative divisions must present transparent plans for increasing diversity in hiring pools, so that by 2020-21, Guilford increases the percentage of faculty and staff members of color campus-wide by 10 percent in all academic and administrative divisions.

Faculty, as a whole, agree that increased diversity is an important goal. We do not know yet when we will be able to hire new tenure-track faculty, but are working toward a compensation plan that will make Guilford a more welcoming place for faculty of color. We also recognize that we have not been doing enough, and that more is needed, not only to attract but also to retain faculty of color. Faculty of color face race-based challenges to their work and disrespectful behavior from colleagues and students. This negative environment must change, and we bear a significant responsibility to create that change.

As for training, a number of faculty have taken part in Guilford’s Understanding Racism Workshop and in workshops and reading groups sponsored by Faculty Development, and more of us will be involved in the workshop being organized by Dean Beth Rushing in August, 2016. Faculty are not in unity about what sorts of training are most effective, or even about whether such training is universally necessary. We are nevertheless in ongoing conversations, supported by Beth Rushing and the Clerk’s Committee.

5. College administrators, professors, and staff must publicly acknowledge their racism, be it overt, covert, or passive.

  • We suggest that every week a faculty member come forward and publicly admit their participation in racism inside the classroom via a letter to the editor in the Guilfordian.
  • End of the semester course evaluations must include a clause that gives students space to anonymously speak about racism in the classroom.

A very few faculty have already written such letters. Many more are concerned about whether such letters will have adverse impacts on their classroom teaching and other relationships with students. And, some faculty do not agree that they participate in such racism. This, too, is subject to ongoing conversations.

The Dean’s Office is working with Clerk’s Committee and Campus Life to make an anonymous reporting system available to all at Guilford. In the meantime, we encourage you to report racist incidents or situations in classrooms to the Academic Dean, who has pledged to hold us accountable for such occurrences.

You should also know that a group of white staff and faculty have been meeting this year to strategize and hold each other accountable around our own racism and the way it sometimes emerges in our work.

In addition to the specific actions noted above, important institutional work is actively in process. The college’s Strategic Priorities Oversight Committee (SPOC) is setting key goals with regard to addressing student demands and related steps to make Guilford a more inclusive and just institution. Faculty members are appointed as members of this committee and are engaged in this effort along with students, staff, and administrators. Intentional work and mentoring opportunities are also newly available through the appointment of a faculty member as the Faculty Development Associate in Inclusive Pedagogy.

Thank you for your careful and courageous efforts to reach out to Guilford administrators, faculty, and staff. We hope that, in our ongoing work, we will honor the faith you have shown in us to become a more thoughtful, responsible, and anti-racist campus.

 

Enrollment Report as of May 9

May 11th, 2016

Here is the most recent report from the Enrollment division on the incoming first-year class. The data set we’ve been watching is below. After that, we have a second table with a comparison on several statistics between the incoming 2016 first-years and the group which deposited in 2015. Finally, we have a look at some more detailed demographic information.

Arlene writes:

Thanks to everyone for your kind words and congratulations on meeting/exceeding our Fall Traditional 2016 deposit goal. Along with the regular numbers, thought that you might want to know a little bit about the profile of the class.

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incoming

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Click any image for a bigger version.

Notes:

  • The SSP is the Student Success Program which helps students transition to college.
  • The numbers are slightly different between the tables because the middle table comes from May 6 numbers while the others are from May 9.

Agenda for Clerk’s Committee meeting, May 9, 2016

May 9th, 2016

At the suggestion of Clerk’s members, we will be having a special called Clerk’s meeting on Tuesday to address issues raised at the April 27th faculty meeting. Here is our agenda outline:

  • Discuss the issues brought forth in the faculty meeting and identify other related problems on campus
  • Identify institutional environmental and structural changes we need to make to foster and sustain a diverse faculty
  • Think of new ideas, initiatives, or practices we could adopt for attracting (and more importantly, retaining) faculty of color

Enrollment report as of May 2

May 6th, 2016

Here is the latest enrollment report as of May 2, one day after the national May 1 deadline for students to commit to the college of their choice. As you can see below, we have more students deposited (391) than any year in the past three. That is a very big deal for us. This number can change over summer in either direction as students change their plans – we are likely to lose some to “melt” and gain some from late deciders and late applicants – but we are obviously in a better position going into summer than in recent years.

Congratulations and thanks are due the enrollment staff and all who’ve worked with them this year. We will need to work and adjust to accommodate this large incoming class, but that is a good challenge to have.

Arlene writes:

I am pleased to share that we have exceeded our May 1 deposit goal for incoming first year students.  It is shaping up to be a strong class with an academic and diversity profile comparable with previous years.  I am extraordinarily grateful for all of the hard work that the Guilford College community has put into bringing this class in: faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees, our personal and professional partners, everyone.  This is really a community achievement.  Moving forward, all of us will continue to have a role to play in providing the Guilford experience we’ve promised to the Class of 2020 and our entire student body.  Indeed, our work is far from over and, in fact, it’s really just beginning – for all of us.  Thank you for your continued and passionate partnership.

enrol

Click the picture for a bigger view.

LAGER Committee Minutes 4/26/16

May 3rd, 2016

Final LAGER Committee Minutes 4/26/16

 

Present: Melanie, Jennie, Lavon, Damon (recording),  Drew, Kyle (chair)

 

Regrets: Dale, Caleb, Stephanie, Suzanne,

 

    1. Minutes for 19 April 2016 approved.
    2. To Do List created
    3. Discussion of QEP and its relationship to GE.

 

  • ACTION ITEM: Kyle will reach out to Steve to begin a conversation

 

    1. Discussion of faculty meeting 27 April 2016
      1. We appreciate the feedback we have received and hope to get more. We continue to engage in small group conversations. The survey is available. The link is on the Moon Room. The first draft of the proposal over the summer, to be shared ASAP. Excited and interested about connections with other initiatives on campus (Strategic priorities, J-term, QEP, etc).

 

  • ACTION ITEM: Damon will share this language (IV. A) with Stephanie; Drew will share the anonymous survey link on the Moon Room site.

 

  1. Discussion of Gateway meeting on 19 April
  2. Discussion of Foundation meeting on 19 April.

 

The Moon Room

A Community Forum on Guilford College Faculty Life