Dartmouth to spend $145M promoting diversity, inclusion

Dartmouth College has pledged at least $145 million to be parceled out to various diversity initiatives over the next ten years as part of its Action Plan for Inclusive Excellence.

“We have concluded that Dartmouth needs no more reports, task forces, or initiatives that occur in isolation. Rather, Dartmouth needs action, alignment, accountability, and transparency. Today we stand together and commit our institution to cultural change,” the school announced in late May, adding that it has a responsibility to “ensure that every person knows that he, she, or they is a valued member of our community.”

As part of the decade-long overhaul, Dartmouth has set a goal of increasing the percentage of minority tenure-track professors from 16 to 25 percent by 2020, which will require hiring 50 new “underrepresented” professors in the next four years. Employees, of course, come with a price tag, and in this case the school estimates that salaries and start-up costs will be somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million over the next 10 years.

Additionally, the school has promised to “double the Diversity Recruitment Fund to $2 million annually,” which, for the time being, will be supported by $45 million in endowment dollars.

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What’s more, the prestigious institution will now require all “senior staff” as well as all members of the Board of Trustees to complete training on “implicit bias.” Similarly, all incoming students will undergo“training on diversity and inclusion” during orientation, beginning with the upcoming school year.

As if that weren’t enough, every academic department, division, and school, as well as every administrative division of the college, will be required to develop and post (to a new diversity website) an annual diversity and inclusion plan.

Finally, all faculty and senior staff members will be mandated to “describe their efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion on campus” during their annual performance evaluations, possibly making it more difficult for professors to earn tenure if they diverge from the school’s favored approach in that context.

And to top it all off, the administration has established an “External Review Committee” that will visit campus each year to hold the school to its promises.

“Creating the culture we need and value will require a permanent commitment by the Dartmouth community,” the action plan concludes. “The actions we outline in the Action Plan for Inclusive Excellence mark that commitment with a period of focused actions, supported by clear, accessible communication about our progress. We recognize that this effort is marathon not a sprint. We commit ourselves to constant vigilance and clarity regarding our efforts and their results.”

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