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Trustees Statement on Diversity

Adopted by the Board of Trustees on May 6, 2005

At Pomona College a central part of our educational mission is to foster leaders by developing their power to analyze conditions and creatively imagine new ones. We seek to prepare our students for successful lives of creative leadership in a world that requires increasing understanding of and ability to work with men and women of all nationalities, races, religions, socioeconomic status, lifestyles, sexual orientations, physical abilities, and political persuasions. This requires that our students experience and address both the common intellectual traditions and challenges that bind people of varied backgrounds, and the different perspectives these people bring to every discipline in the liberal arts.

It is essential, therefore, that our students are exposed to the most diverse experiences possible - in the curricula they select, the faculty who teach them, and the friends and classmates they encounter. This is an educational benefit that serves our entire academic community and helps prepare all of our students to develop informed, constructive, leadership roles in the world.

We recognize that there is no single definition of a satisfactorily "diverse" campus or curriculum, and that the strategies needed to advance diversity change with time and external circumstances. Likewise, we understand that in a small college that admits fewer than 400 students each year and hires only a handful of new faculty and staff each year, it is impossible to satisfy all needs at all times. Nevertheless, by acknowledging diversity as an institutional value that is crucial to the education of our students, we are committing ourselves to work diligently and continually toward the goal of making this as diverse a campus as possible. To that end the College should:

Make special efforts to recruit faculty, staff, and students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups that have experienced prejudice and disadvantage.

  • Assure that the faculty, staff, and student populations include people from varied socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Maintain and continue efforts to achieve gender balance in our student body, faculty, and staff.
  • Provide programs (including curricula) and support systems to assure that all members of the community are welcome and successful in their roles at the college. This requires that unconditional respect be afforded all members of the community in all aspects of their lives here.

Since the programs required to achieve diversity may well change over time in response to changing circumstances, it is essential that the college have mechanisms for continual assessment of these needs and for adjustment of its strategies as circumstances require. While it may be tactically expedient from time to time to set numerical goals or launch special curricular or recruitment efforts to correct perceived inadequacies, our intent is for such tactics to be focused, temporary, and within the law.

The larger goal - of creating a dynamically diverse community through continuous assessment, dialogue, and change - requires that we remind ourselves repeatedly of our overall purpose. That purpose is the education and preparation of students for future lives in a diverse and ever-changing world.