November 15–17, 2018
Chair Brandi Johnson ’01 opened the meeting with introductions and a review of the previous meeting’s minutes.
Committee secretary Robin Albing Tu’81 introduced two guest speakers, Joe Helble, provost, and Dean Lacey, assistant provost for faculty recruitment and diversity. Assistant Provost Lacey discussed faculty programs for diversity and inclusion, including the Inclusive Excellence initiative. Committee members raised discussion questions about interdepartmental opportunities for faculty, challenges surrounding properly defining diversity, and challenges surrounding attracting diverse faculty to a rural campus. Lacey also conveyed that access to spousal employment opportunities can pose a challenge when recruiting faculty members. Dartmouth has funding available to facilitate faculty spouse employment within the College and is working towards other solutions to this challenge.
Provost Helble discussed the nature of the relationship between the liberal arts and STEM fields at Dartmouth. He conveyed that there is a general trend in higher education which sees the number of humanities majors decreasing and the number of STEM majors increasing. Provost Helble explained that a decrease in the number of humanities majors does not reflect a decrease in the value the College places on the humanities. Dartmouth aims to offer a broad education that gives focus to multiple disciplines.
Provost Helble stated that the liberal arts are still at the core of a Dartmouth education and that barriers to collaboration between faculty and students of differing departments are low. He cited the Digital Humanities initiative at the College as a successful example of this collaboration and also indicated that efforts are currently underway to integrate STEM fields and the arts. Committee chair Brandi Johnson ’01 noted the focus placed on STEM by The Call to Lead campaign.
Committee secretary Robin Albing Tu’81 briefly discussed the upcoming 250th anniversary celebration events, which highlight presentations by professor-student pairings that illustrate the College’s emphasis on undergraduate research. Albing also announced that the 250th anniversary January kickoff event in New York City would feature Jake Tapper ’91, among others.
Albing proceeded to discuss the Rassias Faculty Award and explained the voting process to the committee. Voting will occur prior to the next committee meeting. Committee members discussed the importance of considering diversity when selecting the award recipients.
Committee chair Brandi Johnson ’01 concluded the meeting by calling for feedback on the Dartmouth mobile app from an alumni perspective. The meeting was then adjourned.