Leadership Board Meeting Minutes
May 3rd, 2011
- Location: Sayles Hill Lounge
CEDI Leadership Board Meeting Minutes
May 3, 2011
CEDI co-chairs Andrea Nixon and Michael McNally reported that, since the April 19th meeting, they had met with the Benefits Committee regarding the domestic partner taxable benefits proposal. They also met with President Poskanzer, to keep him informed of the progress of the taxable benefits proposal as well as discuss the appointment of a faculty co-chair for next year. A Welcoming Environment audit was also discussed, and will be brought to The Occasional Meeting in the near future. Finally, President Poskanzer responded positively to the interest expressed by CEDI members in playing active roles throughout the strategic planning process.
Task Force/Action Team Updates
Julie Thornton reported that her Action Team is planning a conversation for Monday, May 16, at 4:30 about how we welcome new members to the Carleton community. The Campus Community Expectations Action Team chose a topic with the intention of engaging all parts of the campus community, and to begin a conversation within different constituencies as well as among faculty, students, and staff. The hope is that once such a conversation about what we value as a community is modeled, the participants will continue to work with the ideas and incorporate them into the day-to-day discussions at Carleton.
The Sexual Misconduct Committee, reported Kaaren Williamsen, is beginning to have internal conversations on the policy, as well as researching the policies of other schools, to see where Carleton policy stands in relation to peer institutions. Additionally, the committee has been working to make sense of the recent Title IX ‘Dear Colleague’ letter and eventually present recommendations to the College Council regarding changes that need to be made to fulfill the guidelines of gender equity specified. Julie Thornton noted that because of the recent policy review, Carleton is in a much better place than many peer institutions, but there are some changes that will need to be made in response to the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter.
Ann Iijima reported that the Workplace Task Force’s Memorial Day proposal was still in process and that their next meeting will focus on going through the strategic planning assumptions and discussing their role in the process.
For the Learning Environment Outside the Classroom Task Force, Carolyn Fure-Slocum reported that she recently met with the two students who were interested in starting a conversation on campus about political diversity. They decided that a Carletonian article on the subject would be the best way to begin a conversation.
Bill North reported that the recent LTC event about teaching sensitive issues was successful. Drew Weis introduced the topic with an explanation of how and why certain topics can trigger negative reactions. Bill North and two other faculty members gave short presentations about teaching potentially sensitive subject matter, and the rest of the event was dedicated to small group discussions, with CAASHA members at every table. The feedback was very positive; many in attendance said that they had been grappling with how to incorporate sensitive issues into lesson plans. Finally, it was noted that the next LTC event, to be held on May 17, about recruiting a more diverse faculty, will also be related to CEDI’s work.
Campus Concerns Action Team Draft Document
Bill North began his presentation of the draft proposal by explaining that, much like the strategic planning process, the Campus Concerns Action Team tried to express the assumptions that informed the recommendation throughout the document. The proposal contains four main sections: conceptual infrastructure, informational infrastructure, ongoing education, and procedures.
The conceptual infrastructure section recommends that the college settle on basic definitions of terms such as discrimination, bias, and harassment. Though these words are used in various documents, their exact framework is never described in detail, although the group found that many other colleges had working definitions of these terms, which greatly simplified and clarified processes.
The informational infrastructure segment of the proposal suggested that information regarding the campus concerns reporting procedures be discussed in offices and departments and a location to place the information be identified. This is based off of the group’s finding that although there is, loosely, a procedure in place to address reports of discrimination, harassment, and bias, it is not available unless it is specifically sought out.
The ongoing education section was based upon language in the 1990 document that called for active encouragement of ongoing discussion among the campus community. The Action Team’s recommendations, thus, take concrete steps to actualize this earlier commitment, by encouraging specific discussions the topic during New Student Week and faculty and staff orientation, as well as through the development of general resources that allows for continuing conversation and evaluation of policies. Finally, it was emphasized an important part of this ongoing education should be continued data collection, particularly as the students who took Campus Climate Survey graduate and moves into the past.
Carolyn Fure-Slocum suggested that, in response to conversations about Northfield climate issues at the April 19 meeting, a section be added for the reporting of off-campus incidents. This change, as well as explicit indication that the concern form can and should be used to report incident that happened off-campus (i.e. on an OCS program) as well.
The procedure section of the draft document was represented by a flow chart. Bill North explained that much of the suggested procedure follows closely with the sexual misconduct process and also allows for a concern to be reported, but resolved without going through an official adjudication process. The procedure, based upon the Macalester model, allows for internal or external mediation to occur, depending on the situation. Overall, the group tried to create a procedure that would minimize conflict of interest. While they felt it was important to have a point person who serves as a gateway to begin the process, the Action Team did not feel equipped with the information or authority to identify specifically for the Dean of the College who this point person should be.
Andrea Nixon noted that it would be helpful, given that the document will eventually be presented to people who are not as familiar with the various processes as CEDI members may be, to highlight on the flow chart what procedures are already in place and what new measures are being suggested. Kaaren Williamsen expressed a concern that the sole use of ‘discrimination’ at the heading of the procedural chart may lead those beginning the process to automatically label their complaints as ‘discrimination’ when the term is already often misused. Bill North noted that the title was, in fact, misleading and will likely be changed in the final draft. The use of ‘discrimination,’ he explained, was the result of a change to the action team’s name made in the winter based upon a concern from many members of the administration regarding the legal implications of the term ‘grievance’.
Overall, there was a very positive and supportive response to the draft proposal, though further comments are still welcome and co-chair Andrea Nixon encouraged members to utilize the CEDI-LB listserv to continue the conversation.
Peopling for 2011-2012
In addition to the end, by plan, of the two Action Teams, it was noted that several members of the Leadership Board were at the end of their term limits. A specific question was posed regarding the Kaaren Williamsen’s position as chair of the Sexual Misconduct Committee, as although her term limit is technically up, she will remain on the committee ex oficio. Previously, the chair of SHARE was a presidential appointment. The President’s office has expressed, however, President Poskanzer has expressed a willingness to allow the appointment to be made internally. Kaaren Williamsen noted that it would just be easier to handle the decision within the Sexual Misconduct Committee and CEDI, as the presidential appointment would be chosen from a list of names provided by SHARE anyway, and this would skip the intermediary step.
The meeting concluded at 11 am.