Special Assistant

Office of the Special Assistant to the President

The Special Assistant to the President reports directly to the President of the College and works closely with the Director of Affirmative Action and Manager of Institutional Diversity, Dean of Faculty, and Dean of Students to create, formulate, and develop diversity initiatives—in particular, the Benjamin Mays ‘20 Initiative–and to recommend and implement programs and policies that promote diversity and inclusion in the Bates community.

This is one of several offices on campus responsible for answering specific complaints relating to issues of diversity and inclusion. In addition, the Special Assistant attempts to collaborate and coordinate the efforts of administrative offices, academic departments and programs, and student organizations as they work to achieve a campus climate conducive to generating and maintaining an increasingly diverse and inclusive environment.

Heather Lindkvist
Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion
202-A Lane Hall
Lewiston, ME 04240
Phone: 207-786-6445

Brief History of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President

In 2003-2004, President Hansen convened the Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity and Academic Excellence, which created a Professional Development Seminar on Stereotype Threat. Based on the work undertaken in that seminar, the president named the first Special Assistant to the President for Diversity in summer 2005, Professor Liz Tobin. Professor Tobin sought advice of members of the faculty and staff who have long been involved in issues of diversity at Bates, and she studied and summarized reports and recommendations from seven committees and working groups that had focused on diversity since 1992 (leading to “The Report of Reports,” which outlines recommendations that have been implemented as well as those that have not). The Special Assistant also initiated the Campus Climate Project, which attracted approximately 75 students, faculty, and staff. The group met throughout the winter semester and short term. Their findings are in the Campus Climate Report. In the summer of 2006, Professor Sue Houchins replaced Liz Tobin as the second Special Assistant. She began working on aspects of The Benjamin Mays ’20 Initiative for enhancing diversity. (Her annual report will be available on the Website by 1 September 2007). Professor Leslie Hill assumes the position for two years beginning in August of 2007.

Further Reading