Equity and Inclusion Update September 15, 2022

Dear Members of the Bates Community,

As we enter the new academic year, I write to provide you with an update on several aspects of our ongoing work to advance equity and inclusion at Bates.


Over the past year, we ran a process of outreach and consultation to understand the experiences of students, faculty, and staff with equity and inclusion efforts at Bates and to explore productive models for moving the work forward. This process directly informed the leadership profile that we developed for use in the search for Bates’ next Vice President for Equity and Inclusion (VPEI). Our search in the spring of 2022 did not produce a successful hire. Accordingly, we have resumed the search this fall, the details of which are below.

Office of Intercultural Education (OIE)

Thanks to the leadership of members of the Student Affairs team, we successfully recruited several new colleagues to the Office of Intercultural Education, which is now fully staffed by:

  • Maria Mendoza-Bautista, Associate Dean and Director of the Office of Intercultural Education
  • Ray Grant, Assistant Dean for First Generation and Bobcat First Programs
  • Dri Huber, Assistant Dean for LGBTQ+ Programs
  • Mana Abdi, Program Coordinator
  • Shaula Edwards, Program Coordinator
Outreach and Consultation

Throughout last year’s consultation process we heard the perspectives of community members with a broad range of experiences, identities, and backgrounds. We asked for candor and specificity, and found students and colleagues alike willing and eager to offer both. The conversations we had, and the feedback we received, were enormously helpful. A report on the outreach and consultation process can be found here. 

Vice President for Equity and Inclusion

We have re-launched the search for Bates’ next VPEI with a reconstituted search committee. Most members of the search committee from the spring have returned, some former members did not return because of leaves or other commitments, and we are pleased to be joined by four new members. I want to thank Marcelle Medford and Julisa De Los Santos for their excellent leadership as co-chairs of the search committee in the spring. Senior Associate Dean of Purposeful Work Allen Delong is serving as chair of the current committee, and we held our first meeting on September 7. We continue to work with the search firm WittKieffer to identify interested and qualified candidates for the VPEI role. Our goal is to bring finalists to campus in November, where there will be opportunities to meet with campus colleagues in various settings. If you have questions regarding the search or input you would like to share, please send a message to vpeisearch@bates.edu

  • The following individuals are serving on the search committee:
  • Hope Burnell, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety
  • Julisa De Los Santos, Director of Alumni and Parent Equity and Inclusion Programs
  • Allen Delong, Senior Associate Dean of Purposeful Work (chair)
  • Yun Garrison, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Tyler Harper, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
  • April Hill, Wagener Family Professor of Equity and Inclusion in STEM
  • Dri Huber, Assistant Dean for LGBTQ+ Programs
  • Stephanie Kelley-Romano, Professor of Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies
  • Aaliyah Moore ’24
  • Jason Morin, Custodial Services Manager
  • Patrick Otim, Assistant Professor of History
  • Tracey Reeves, Vice President for Communications and Marketing
  • Clayton Spencer, President
  • Jennifer Blanchard, Senior Writer and Assistant to the President (staff to committee)
Educational Resources

I have also enlisted the assistance of Christopher Petrella to work with us this year to develop and lead several targeted and general workshops in equity and inclusion for interested staff and administrative departments. Chris is a historian of 19th and 20th century racialization in the United States who currently holds a lecturer post at Bates and who previously served as our Associate Director of Programs for the Office of Equity and Diversity from 2016 to 2018. We will have more to share on this effort in the weeks ahead.