Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Appendix F: The School of Arts & Sciences

Nov. 10, 2020

Plan for a Plan to Address Systemic Racism

The School of Arts and Sciences is committed to moving beyond rhetoric to creating and implementing a concrete action plan to address the legacies and current realities of systemic racism and anti-blackness in order to institute meaningful, enduring change.

The following plan for a plan is based on a series of informal small group discussions with interested faculty in August; review of an array of Task Force reports and other recommendations, including from the “Honoring Our Founding Values” subcommittee chaired by Chad Williams, The Black Action Plan created by a group of concerned Brandeis students, and the Ford Hall 2015 draft implementation plan. It provides an overview of what we have achieved, a deliberative process and timeline for widespread consultation and discussion in the fall term, and a menu of possible options, recommendations, and metrics to consider and revise as we think together about our way forward.

Admissions Actions to Date

Initiatives Underway

Actions Under Discussion

Fall Plan and Timeline

To ensure broad consultation and finalize the plan, the School of Arts and Sciences will rely on its current governance structure of departments, programs, and divisions.

By January 31, 2021, we commit to the following:

  • Admissions will implement and train all counseling staff on newly established, more equitable protocols for assessing personal characteristics in applications and commit to further evaluating its selection process to identify ways that its systems could be limiting access
  • A & S will hold workshops for all chairs to discuss structural racism, approaches to legacies of racism in their field, approaches to decolonizing the curriculum
  • All A & S faculty will meet, by department and program, to discuss their ideas for an anti-racism plan, assess their current climate and curriculum and set anti-racist goals. Staff from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be available to facilitate and participate.
  • As a result of these workshops and other engagements, every department and program will submit a DEI plan that identifies DEI priorities and sets goals for their demographics (faculty, staff, and students), curriculum, climate, and programming.
  • A & S will revise its annual department/program planning template to include a section asking for the departments DEI plan and progress
  • If the Faculty Activity Report cannot be revised in AY21, A & S will include a prompt in the discretionary section asking for faculty to report on their DEI-related activities, including student mentoring
  • Discussion, review and decision about all of the above suggestions, including plans generated by departments, programs, and divisions, will be synthesized to create an Anti-Racist Action Plan for the School of Arts and Sciences.