The new Office of Intercultural Education has been created in response to the report of the Core Committee and the recommendations of the external advisory committee. It is charged with supporting the College’s commitment to educate students for national and global citizenship by implementing an integrated co-curricular program that reflects the four strategic directions.
The process was a year-long effort that involved students, faculty, and staff, as well as outside consultants. The process was grounded by three principles, that it be:
- inclusive by providing all members of the community with multiple opportunities to participate
- transparent by making public the findings and report of the committees
- efficient by making specific recommendations that could be acted upon.
The Core Committee for the Initiative for Diversity and Inclusion for Students (IDIS), composed of staff members, students, and faculty, was asked to create a guiding vision that reflected the community’s aspirations and concerns regarding diversity and inclusion. To arrive at their recommendations with an understanding and appreciation of the multiple viewpoints and needs of our students and community, the committee used data collected from multiple focus groups, in previous surveys. In its final report, the Core Committee identified and outlined four IDIS Strategic Directions focused on the themes of student success, leadership development, affirmation and collaboration, and diversity and inclusion. These recommendations were then considered by the IDIS External Advisory Committee whose work was to identify the qualities or characteristics of the kind of organizational structure that matched the new vision and strategic directions.
IDIS Past Timeline
Step 1 - Community Launch - October 19, 2009
Step 2 - Formation of Core Committee - Early November 2009
We sought support from MAC and SOAC to nominate student representatives to a committee consisting of students, staff and faculty.
Step 3 - Naming of External Advisors - Late November 2009
We named a group of external advisors. Members were faculty and staff from comparable institutions with expertise in diversity and inclusion, and Wellesley alumnae who have focused on diversity and inclusion since graduating. The External Advisory Committee’s role was to work with the Core Committee to develop a strategic plan that supported our collective vision and key strategic directions.
Step 4 - Data Collection - October 2009 - January 2010
Working with consultants from Cambridge Hill Partners, we conducted interviews and focus groups as well as examined secondary research to develop a concise snapshot representing the current state of diversity goals, programs and services.
Step 5 - An Interim Report: The Planning Brief - January 2010
The Planning Brief documented and summarized our collective best understanding of the current state, future challenges, and options for a student experience that will support and educate a diverse and inclusive student community in the future.
Step 6 - Innovation Session - January 31, 2010
The entire Wellesley community was invited to participate with thought leaders to imagine what might be possible and most effective in supporting our commitment to create a diverse and inclusive community for students.
Step 7 - Vision, Mission and Key Strategic Directions - February 13, 2010
Days after the January Innovation session, the Core Committee was led through a process in which it articulated a new vision, mission and key strategic questions. This work was informed by the output from the Innovation Session and the data collection process (Planning Brief).
Step 8 - From Vision to Implementation - March 13, 2010
The External Advisors received the results of the Core Committee’s work and joined the Core Committee to develop a strategic plan for supporting our commitment to a diverse and inclusive student community at Wellesley College.
Recommendations were presented to President Bottomly and Senior Staff and a decision followed about the implementation of a new structure for the program.