NOTE: The Wofford Board of Trustees has already approved the following five Administration requests. Thirty more are pending approval by the Board, which meets Aug. 5-6, 2021. The total cost of implementing these programs is not clear. A detailed list with JEDI Committee comments is available in the following report here:
— Hire a cabinet-level Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to oversee all DEI initiatives, support Title IX and bias incident functions and have an advisory role over hiring practices.
— Increase the budget and staffing for the college’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) and increase staffing and/or resources in other DEI areas.
— Continue the Teach.Equity.Now. Fellows program that supports a cohort of 20 faculty and/or staff each year. The program trains educators to incorporate racial equity principles in Wofford’s classrooms and campus culture.
— Join the Universities Studying Slavery Consortium, which was started by the University of Virginia for institutions to share best practices and guiding principles while addressing the history of slavery and racism in institutional histories.
— Establish a fund to create historical markers, plaques, creative/digital displays and a new Wofford history book to authentically acknowledge and engage Wofford’s past and tell an inclusive story that highlights the complex lived experiences of women, people of color and other historically underrepresented groups that have helped make Wofford what it is today.
Pending JEDI Committee requests:
Recommendation 1: Adopt a new naming system for current and future residence halls purposefully chosen to emphasize Wofford’s common history and community. (This includes changing the names of dormitories honoring the college’s first three presidents solely because they legally owned enslaved people prior to the Civil War.)
Recommendation 2: Allocate and raise funds for the construction of a new house or houses within the Greek Village for National Panhellenic Council (NPHC, traditional minority) fraternities and sororities, and for support of their activities. Address inequities in policies in use of these spaces. (This includes special funding to cover minority organizations activation and reactivation fees and other expenses.)
Recommendation 3: Construct new buildings and safe spaces dedicated to the support of current and future diverse student populations, groups, and their organizations and review current policies that regulate usage of student spaces.
Recommendation 4: Establish a Wofford History and Memory Committee tasked with the development and implementation of projects, including those related to recommended initiatives proposed by the JEDI Committee. (The College already has a full-time historian/archivist as well as complete library staff capable of doing the work.)
Recommendation 5: Create a position of Campus Historian or Historian of the College. (See above.)
Recommendation 6: Increase BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color) and other forms of diversity in faculty, staff and administration. (Cost?)
Recommendation 7: Restructure academic advising. (How many new hires? Cost?)
Recommendation 8: Enhance the general education and major curricula with increased course content related to race, ethnicity, and legacies of colonialism. (Cost?)
Recommendation 9: Increase infrastructure support for the FYI (first year student) program. (Cost?)
Recommendation 10: Expand ongoing assessment and professional development to work toward greater equity in the academic majors. (Lower major course offerings?)
Recommendation 11: Revive the Wofford Gospel Choir; support and sustain it. (Participation open to all students?)
Recommendation 12: Ensure financial needs are met for laptops and course supplies. (Cost?)
Recommendation 13: Create equitable access to on-campus Interim courses. (Additional funding for low-income students? Cost?)
Recommendation 14: Create structures to ensure best practices for intercultural engagement in study-away Interim courses; once those structures are in place, create equitable access to one study-away (including study-abroad) Interim for all students. (Cost?)
Recommendation 15: Encourage coaches, advisors, and the Office of International Programs to collaborate so that athletes who desire to study abroad can do so.
Recommendation 16: Create more equitable pathways to internships. (For all students? Cost?)
Recommendation 17: Create more equitable pathways to other student development and pre-career opportunities. (For all students? Cost?)
Recommendation 18: Increase amount and consistency of community engagement in the curriculum.
Recommendation 19: Provide support to ensure public research and community-engaged research are practiced in ways that promote equity and uplift the Spartanburg community. (Cost?)
Recommendation 20: Develop a strategic plan for diversity recruitment and enrollment for 2022-2026. (Doesn’t college already have a plan? Wofford already ranks high in state for diversity recruitment and enrollment? Is it failing, and if so, why? Cost?)
Recommendation 21: Plan, implement and assess first-year orientation each year with special attention to JEDI concerns. (Exactly what does this mean? Cost?)
Recommendation 22: Increase staffing and support for Accessibility Services and revise relevant policies. (How many new hires? Cost?).
Recommendation 23: Enhance Campus Union’s ability to represent all students. (Why hasn’t this already happened? Cost?)
Recommendation 24: Establish a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion student fund. And a commitment to Greek Life inclusive of all students who wish to participate. (How would this affect traditional fraternity and sorority recruitment, membership rules and operations?)
Recommendation 25: Increase support for Wofford’s Counseling Services. (How many new hires and at what cost?)
Recommendation 26: Establish a student health-care coverage option for uninsured students. (Open to all? Cost?)
Recommendation 27: Title IX and Bias Reporting: (a) Provide additional resources to the Title IX and Bias Incident reporting efforts; (b) implement structures to allow for consistent, effective, and clear processes for problematic behavior that does not fall within the definitions of prohibited conduct within the current policy guidelines; (c) require annual training of all employees in Wofford’s Title IX and Bias Reporting policies and procedures. (New hires? Cost?)
Recommendation 28: Conduct an external review of the Office of Human Resources and all institutional policies and practices related to hiring and confidential personnel matters to ensure that emerging risks and issues of concern are identified and addressed. (Why? Is department currently mismanaged?)
Recommendation 29: Create three annual awards for JEDI work. (Why and at what cost? Who makes selections?)
Recommendation 30: Continue justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work: (a) Establish an advisory committee on JEDI issues on campus; (b) continue research and reporting from the JEDI Committee’s data.