External Review Committee Report on Inclusive Excellence

News subtitle

Their report shows where the College has made progress and recommends next steps.

an aerial view of Baker Tower on a snowy day
(Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

The external review committee (ERC) for Inclusive Excellence has released its second annual report on Dartmouth’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. The full report is available on the Inclusive Excellence website.

The report makes 25 recommendations for how Dartmouth can continue making sustainable progress on the goals outlined in the action plan for Inclusive Excellence adopted in 2016. The ERC, which is comprised of national thought-leaders in diversity and inclusion in higher education, was created to help hold Dartmouth accountable for the implementation of the action plan.

The committee members’ findings reflect their visit to campus in October, when they met with faculty, students, administrators, and staff.

In a message to the Dartmouth community, the executive committee on Inclusive Excellence said, “We accept fully the spirit of their recommendations and are exploring ways to implement them.” The executive committee includes President Philip J. Hanlon ’77, Provost Joseph Helble, Executive Vice President Rick Mills, and Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Equity Evelynn Ellis.

“This report is thorough and thoughtful,” says President Hanlon. “It acknowledges the real strides we’ve made toward diversity and inclusion throughout the community, and provides concrete recommendations for how we can go further. I’m grateful for the tremendous amount of work the committee has done in support of our efforts.”

ERC Chair David T. Carreon Bradley, a physics and engineering scholar and former vice president for inclusion, diversity, and equity at Smith College, calls this “a pivotal moment for Dartmouth to maximize on the inclusive excellence investments made thus far.”

“The External Review Committee has enjoyed engaging with President Hanlon and his team on this initiative,” he says. “We look forward to the near future as Dartmouth deepens its commitment to Inclusive Excellence.” 

The committee noted that significant progress has been made on the action plan, and that half of the 47 tasks being tracked were completed in the 2016–17 academic year, and 11 in 2017–18. The remaining tasks are in progress or well underway. 

The ERC focused its assessment on the long-term sustainability and accountability of the College’s inclusion efforts. For example, the report recommends the creation of an executive accountability committee that would “serve as an internal accountability system and sounding board for all units and subcommittees related to diversity and inclusion.”

Other recommendations include suggestions for improving campus-wide communication around Inclusive Excellence, improving data analysis and collection, and better coordinating efforts across the institution to recruit and retain underrepresented faculty.

Ellis says the ERC’s objective outside perspective has been critical to sustaining the College’s commitment to the initiative. “Without these outside voices, we might slow down. So they have helped our momentum,” she says. “They’re challenging us with their recommendations, but at the same time, they could see progress, and that’s encouraging.”

In addition to Bradley, the external review committee includes Kimberly Griffin, associate professor in the Higher Education, Student Affairs, and International Education Policy Program at the University of Maryland; John Rich ’80, professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health and a former Dartmouth trustee; and Kiva Wilson ’04, manager of Facebook’s Diversity and Inclusion Growth program.

Hannah Silverstein