St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, in solidarity with the Antiracism Statement from University Senior Leadership issued on June 6, 2020, is committed “to doing the work necessary to become an antiracist” College. In keeping with our mission, St. John’s College will provide a student-centered education in a socially diverse environment. We will develop in our students a critical consciousness and ethical perspective, preparing them for service and leadership roles in the local, national, and international spheres. Through research, students and faculty will exemplify the highest standards of scholarly inquiry and expression, contributing to the creation, acquisition, and dissemination of knowledge.
The Dean’s Goals for AY 20-21 lay the foundation for the development of initiatives around antiracism, equity, and inclusion in St. John’s College.
Goal 1: To provide the highest quality academic experiences that engage learners through curricula employing diverse technology and pedagogy employing high-impact practices to create inclusive learning environments
Goal 2: To produce the highest quality of innovative research, scholarship, and creative activity
Goal 3: To strengthen our commitment to becoming an antiracist College of Liberal Arts and Sciences through action
A new St. John’s College task force, associated with the College’s goal of furthering our commitment as an antiracist College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was created in October 2020. The task force was charged with developing two to three college-level action items associated with each of these three areas:
An open application was sent out to all St. John’s College faculty, staff, and administrators for volunteers to serve on the task force. To date, 45 members of the SJC community have signed up (36 faculty, six administrators, and three staff) and 15 SJC students have been nominated. The first task force meeting was held virtually on Thursday, October 15th during common hour.
This task force will work during the Fall 2020 semester to identify two or three College-level action items associated with each area (bulleted point) of the Dean's 2020-2021 academic year goal to strengthen our commitment to becoming an antiracist College of Liberal Arts and Sciences through action:
The task force will be divided into three sub-teams associated with each of the three areas of the goal (indicated as bulleted points above). At the kick-off meeting, the task force was given their charge, divided into sub-teams, and provided with some general resources. Our expectation is that this initiative will be faculty-led. Each sub-team will be asked to define how they wish to proceed, both in terms of process and structure.
By the start of the Spring 2021 semester, each sub-team will have identified 2-3 specific College-level actions associated with their area. At that point, we will convene as a larger task force to prioritize the action items, and then begin their implementation. The action items are to be targeted, narrowly focused, and manageable for implementation and completion during the Spring 2021 semester. Throughout the academic year, we will monitor our task force progress and assess the outcomes of our actions' continuous improvement. It is important that we limit the amount of time we study and plan, so as to remain action-oriented.
We will utilize resources available throughout the University, including from the Office of Equity and Inclusion, the Inclusivity Resource Center, and the Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion. We will also utilize prior work that has been done across the University and within our College departments and programs, both for the sake of efficiency and for consistency across all levels of the Institution.
The first meeting was held on Thursday, October 15th to give the task force their charge, provide institutional context, introduce the leadership of the Office of Equity and Inclusion, develop a sense of community, and begin the work of the sub-teams.
Here are selective examples of what the College has been doing to advance our antiracism, equity, and inclusion agenda: