Greg Piper reports for the College Fix on this week’s missive from Dartmouth College President Phil Hanlon: “Dartmouth to impose mandatory implicit bias training on everyone, hire more nonwhite therapists.” Among the disturbed and disgusting doings in the institutions of higher education it is difficult to pick a winner. Piper himself gives Duke the nod. With its commitment to “greater access to therapists of color” to “ensure that providers have working knowledge of race-based trauma and how to address” — wait for it — “the toll systematic racism takes on Black students and all students of color,” Dartmouth may have taken the cake. Yes, indeed, give us your poor, your tired, your huddled students of color yearning for treatment of race-based trauma by therapists of color. This is the “joint statement” issued by the powers that be at Dartmouth, speaking in a mind-numbing institutional voice regurgitating the obligatory palaver, time-stamped to mark the historical moment:
From: Office of the President
Sent: Wednesday, July 1, 2020 2:15 PM
Subject: Joint statement from trustees and senior leadership
To the Dartmouth community,
As Dartmouth senior leaders, we want to express our strong support for the growing movement across the nation to put an end to systemic and systematic racism demonstrated so tragically by the recent killings of Black people at the hands of the police. We are outraged by these acts of violence, and we are inspired by the diversity of races, backgrounds, and the full spectrum of generations engaged in protesting in cities and towns across this land. We join with them to say that Black Lives Matter, and that racial injustice must end.
We recognize that outrage, and even inspiration will not be enough. If we want to see change in the nation, and at Dartmouth, we must act as well as speak. We know there are no easy solutions to eradicate the oppression and racism Black and other students, faculty, and staff of color experience on our campus and all across our country. Today we rededicate ourselves toward this urgent and overdue goal.
We know that many of you are mobilizing in effective ways to challenge persistent racial injustice and to fight racism. We stand with you, we support you, and today we are renewing our institutional commitment to meaningful and long-lasting change through the following actions:
* We believe deeply in the centrality of our mission in the context of today’s struggle. We are committed to educating the most promising students and preparing them for a lifetime of learning and responsible leadership. And in so doing we will take advantage of our strong liberal arts core and the unique constellation of graduate and professional schools to develop leaders who are committed to addressing the world’s challenges, including the creation of more just and civil societies. We strongly support the ongoing faculty-led efforts to expand curricular offerings at all of Dartmouth’s schools in the areas of racial injustice, systemic racism, and institutionalized inequality. The deans among us look forward to the opportunity to consider and ultimately act on what the faculties propose to expand the curriculum in this important way.
* We will elevate the next leader of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity (IDE) to vice president and chief diversity officer, reporting directly to President Philip J. Hanlon, and becoming part of his senior leadership group. A national search, with support from an external search firm and opportunities for community input, will begin by September.
* We will continue the initiatives launched as part of Inclusive Excellence (https://inclusive.dartmouth.edu/) including funding for recruitment and retention of faculty and staff of color. Furthermore, we will increase funding for Employee Resource Networks (ERN), affinity groups of faculty and staff families in the Upper Valley that are a proven way to strengthen recruitment and retention.
* We will make implicit bias training mandatory for all students, faculty, and staff. In addition, the board of trustees has committed itself to participating in the training.
* We recognize the toll systematic racism takes on Black students and all students of color and will provide greater access to therapists of color and ensure that providers have working knowledge of race-based trauma and how to address it.
* We will institute more comprehensive exit interviews with departing faculty and staff of color to identify common themes, and we will begin an enhanced retention plan that will include interviews with faculty and staff of color to provide support and identify issues early.
* We will review and update as necessary training and policies for Dartmouth’s Department of Safety and Security to ensure empathetic, equitable, and just standard operating procedures.
* We will identify and review any and all existing reports relevant to our commitment to improve diversity and inclusivity and ensure that our future actions reflect the insights and contributions of previous working groups and task forces, recognizing that people of color have borne the brunt of educating and informing others about the harmful and destructive impacts of racial inequality.
These commitments are just a start, and we expect to be held accountable for the actions to which we are committing ourselves. We know that there is more to be done to make our community, and the larger society, a civil and just place. We should not expect our colleagues of color–who for too long have shouldered the hard work–to lead this alone. We expect our entire community to join us in the vital work that lies ahead.
We are up to the challenge. We know you are as well.
The Dartmouth Board of Trustees, President Philip J. Hanlon and his senior leadership group