2011: Recognizing Change, Preparing for the Future

Developing Partnerships for Academic Success

Bates College 2011 Presidential Symposium
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Chase Hall

The landscape of higher education is changing.  As our campus community becomes more diverse, students, faculty and staff are developing questions about the connections between diversity and learning.  At Bates, we espouse the value of a liberal education by encouraging students to excel through diverse perspectives: students should “engage the transformative power of our differences” both in and outside the classroom. And so, as a community, the key question is: how do we all – faculty, staff, and students – collaborate to ensure that we graduate students prepared for the complexity of a diverse world?

We invite you to join us in exploring this question at our fourth Presidential Symposium, “Recognizing Change, Preparing for the Future: Developing Partnerships for Academic Success” on Thursday, April 28, 2011.   Pursuing goals articulated in the Choices for Bates “Diversity in Excellence” Project, symposium sessions will focus on building working partnerships to foster a community that recognizes differences and uses them as resources for learning.

The opening keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Alma Clayton-Pedersen, a senior scholar with and former Vice President for Education and Institutional Renewal at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Afterward, a panel from the New England Consortium on the Assessment of Student Learning will report on their research of students’ perspectives of colleges’ commitments to promoting and achieving diversity.  Break-out discussion sessions will follow.

The keynote speaker and panelists will attend these sessions, listen to the questions, concerns and themes expressed then, assemble in a final panel to reflect on what they heard in those sessions and what they recommend as next steps for Bates.  We will document this review with an eye toward providing a resource for faculty, staff, and especially students as they are raising awareness and taking action regarding the climate for marginalized groups on campus. This year’s symposium provides an opportunity for us all, as a community, to consider our role in the partnerships that lead to success for all students.

Schedule of Events

At the 2011 Presidential Symposium that focused on diversity and making excellence inclusive in the mission and future of Bates, members of the community broke into small groups for discussions of

  • * Learning Outside of Classrooms
  • * Preparing Graduates for Diversity beyond Bates
  • * Students Research Diversity at Bates
  • * Staff as Catalysts: Linking Diversity and Inclusion to the Educational Mission of the College

Notes from those suggestions are now available here for review. They include suggested discussion questions, notes from the conversations, and, in some cases, suggestions from the participants for making excellence inclusive.

For more information about Making Excellence Inclusive, Alma Clayton Pedersen’s brief for change in all areas of the college and campus life, please contact the President’s Office.