As we prepare students for a world that is deeply connected and complex, the educational value brought to bear by student-to-student interaction is yet more palpable.
Diversity includes gender, age, ethnicity and race, and internationalism. It also includes geographic origins such as urbanism and ruralism; socioeconomic background; first generation in college; sexual orientation and gender identity; religious beliefs; political points of view. Life experience and obstacles overcome speak to issues of story and character. The desire to express personal aesthetics and manifestations of those cultural and stylistic variations bring diversity as well. There is tangible, visible expression of diversity in our students’ entering portfolios that helps us understand their capacity for creativity and innovation.
To this end of enabling the richest possible experience, we seek all manner of diversity in our student body. The classic measures of diversity are meaningful and of value, but we want to acknowledge the complexity of the nuances of “difference” as we seek out diversity. While measurements are important, these do not speak to the totality of what a student may bring and receive.
The student from the suburbs, the student from Peru, the student from poverty and the student from wealth—all have much to bring and should be equally valued. The diversity of authentic contribution and exploration of personal vision is at the heart of a shared creative community.
The Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Art and Design will involve students, alumni, faculty and staff, as well as external communities, in robust research, exhibitions, symposia, lectures and curricular expansion on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in art and design. The Center for DEI will create and support collaborative and transformative activities in the service of the College’s values of DEI that are designed to break new ground through practice, scholarship and pedagogy. In addition, the Center will serve as a partner to ensure that DEI programs, practices and policies for faculty, staff and students are aligned with the College’s strategic plan, values and mission.
The journey towards adopting inclusive art and design strategies provides us with the power to collectively change human expression in ways we cannot fully imagine.Dr. Aaron BruceVice President and Chief Diversity Officer