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President Byerly releases IDE progress report

On October 13, President Byerly released an almost 2000 word document outlining the progress the administration has made toward the goals outlined in the Community Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (IDE) plan, which was released in April 2022. 

The Fall Progress Report details the advances made towards the five goals set out in the initial IDE plan: Capacity, representation, resources, engagement, and measurable improvement. 

Under the goal of “capacity,” the progress report discussed the ongoing search for a candidate to fill the newly created Vice President for Inclusion, Equity and Community position. Candidates have been recruited throughout the fall, and the report announced that a group of finalists will come to campus in January 2023. 

The report also discussed increased funding for low-income students at Carleton. The plan references the Schuler Education Foundation’s pledge of up to $50 million of matching funds for undocumented, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Pell Grant Students, which came in September 2021. 

The Schuler Education Foundation promised to match donations up to $50 million, and to date Carleton donors have donated $29.8 million, which means that $59.4 million (half from Carleton donors, half from the Schuler Foundation) has been made available to help fund financial aid packages for Pell-eligible and undocumented students.

In a 2021 interview with The Carletonian, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Art Rodriguez stated that a shared goal of Carleton and the Schuler Foundation was “to enroll an additional 16 to 18 Pell or DACA students in each class over the next 10 years.” 

According to the report, the college has been successful in meeting this goal, with that funding helping to enroll 19 additional students this Fall Term. The report goes on to state that “this number will increase over the next three years resulting in a total increase of 69 students when the program is fully enrolled.”

Outside of the Schuler Foundation’s donation, the college’s endowed scholarship for Indigenous students was created by alumna Judy Sosted ’61, 122 low-income students from the class of 2026 received  $500 ‘get started’ checks from the Get Started Fund established by the class of 1972, and approximately $2 million was set aside for an endowed IDE fund “through the generosity of donors providing for Carleton in their estate plans.” 

The goal “resources” entails “establishing and sustaining the resources and practices necessary to provide an equitable environment for all students, staff, and faculty to thrive.” The report mentions a survey about New Student Week to be released soon as well as an examination of student fee structures. 

The report also refers to the new Student Life and Housing Plan. The Carletonian reported on the housing plan in the Fall of last year. At that time, phase one of the plan did not include information about a Black Student Center or Multicultural Center – neither did the 2021 Carleton Housing Study released in August 2021 and the online Project Timeline (last updated in November 2021). 

The current progress report states that “the Multicultural Center and Black Student Center are part of the first phase of the Student Life and Housing Plan,” and Dean of Student Life Caroyln Livingston discussed both the Multicultural Center and Black Student Center at the CSA meeting on September 26th. The Board of Trustees, which is meeting this weekend, will vote to approve the plan on October 28.  

Under the goal of “representation,” the college has been working on changes mostly in regard to the hiring process. These changes include the development of a web page for faculty candidates, set to be complete by the end of Fall Term, which “will provide them with information that we think will be particularly useful for candidates from a variety of under-represented population groups.” 

Other efforts include building a resource archive “on best practices in recruiting and hiring BIPOC faculty,” reviewing faculty retention efforts, conducting IDE training for staff and working with an outside consultant to “increase awareness of the full range of biases that individuals bring to [faculty hiring] searches.”

Finally, under the goals of “engagement” and “measurable improvement,” the report mentions a review of the Institutional Learning Outcomes and Graduation Requirements as examples of engagement, and cites the progress report itself as an accountability measure that demonstrates measurable improvement. 

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