Webb prides itself on a culture built upon respect and generosity. These principles are embedded in our honor code and flow down from our founder William H. Webb. We strive to embrace our differences and through dialogue and collaboration, build a campus community where everyone feels appreciated and empowered. Notwithstanding our best efforts, we sometimes fall short of these goals. The key is to make sure that those times serve as learning experiences, encouraging us to redouble our efforts to ensure a welcoming environment where each student can flourish. At Webb, we recognize and value the role that diversity and inclusion play in enriching the educational experiences and quality of life of our students. As Board chair Bruce Rosenblatt explained in a recent email to the Webb community, our collective aspiration to enhance diversity and inclusion are incorporated in our Strategic Plan and have led to changes in our Admissions processes and scholarship programs. Our students, alumni and staff have offered suggestions for new initiatives for advancing inclusiveness on campus. I promise that we will carefully consider each of these ideas as we develop actionable plans in the coming months.
In 2017, the Board established a Diversity Committee tasked with informing the Board’s discussions on diversity and related strategic planning objectives. The Committee’s newly appointed chair, Dr. George Campbell, has a long history of advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. George is past president of Cooper Union and his wife is currently president of Spelman College. The Committee’s membership includes Trustees, the president of the Alumni Association, the President and Dean, staff and students. The Committee will work collaboratively with the Administration and report regularly to the Board. The charge of this Committee includes:
- developing a Diversity and Inclusion Plan that builds upon ongoing initiatives,
- promoting surveys and listening sessions, to ascertain the views and ideas of all Webb constituencies and to understand their needs,
- helping to prioritize our actions, and,
- evaluating metrics to ensure accountability.
Higher education has a critical and necessary role in building a more equitable and tolerant society. At Webb, our first step is to reaffirm our commitment to seeking out the distinctive viewpoints that come from a diverse population, including differences in race, religion, gender and socioeconomic status. I look forward to learning from all of you and being an advocate for change, as we work to make a difference on the Webb campus and in our broader community.
Please post your ideas on the Community Portal or directly contact me or other members of the Webb community. In the interest of privacy, I ask that you please avoid mass emails.
Thank you for your interest and continued commitment to Webb and our mission.