The Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee was tasked in August 2020 with recommending to the Wofford College Board of Trustees a strategic plan and vision for an equitable and just Wofford for the future. The committee’s work included collecting and reporting relevant disaggregated data, facilitating listening sessions with a variety of stakeholder groups, amplifying and building on equity work already being done, and helping build and sustain an equity-focused and equity-informed culture at Wofford. JEDI reported to the President and the Wofford College Board of Trustees in May 2021. The Board met in August 2021 to discuss and respond.
For nine months, the Wofford College community has participated in a process to review and reflect on our college’s past, present and future. This began when students and alumni who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) started sharing a different Wofford experience, one that did not always live up to the high standards of our founding principles, mission and core values. Wofford College is not afraid of self-reflection, critical thinking and tough conversations, so the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) task force was formed to lead our research, listening and discussion. The group of 16 on the JEDI task force then worked with a team of student researchers and consultants to benchmark other colleges and universities, research Wofford’s history and compile feedback from Wofford students, alumni, faculty and staff. This group presented their final report to President Nayef Samhat and the Wofford College Board of Trustees at the Board’s May 2021 meeting, and trustees and the college’s administration began reviewing and considering the 30 recommendations presented by the group. Throughout this time, trustees and the college’s administration also heard from dozens of other individuals in response to the process. At the direction of the Board, President Samhat and the administration began an in-depth review and study of all recommendations. This review included an assessment of the college’s current status and progress for each recommendation as well as potential next steps. The Board of Trustees gathered in August 2021 to consider and discuss the administration’s review and responses to the recommendations. The following message from the Board considers ALL of the research, data from the surveys and listening sessions, emails, calls and letters. The Board kept the college’s mission and core values at the center of their discussions. They also stayed true to their strategic and fiduciary responsibilities, committing to make decisions that will ensure that Wofford College thrives far beyond the lives of those who love and support the college today.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES MESSAGE TO THE WOFFORD COLLEGE COMMUNITY
Our first order of business is to express our gratitude to the students, faculty, staff, alumni and alumni trustees on the JEDI task force who have given generously of their time to listen, learn and have hard conversations about student experiences at our college and in the world. The 30 recommendations of the JEDI task force are about student success, and we began our meeting by expressing appreciation for the impact of student leaders and others for speaking out and participating in this process. The student experience today and in the future is our foundational concern.
Honoring the academic program
Almost half of the JEDI recommendations focused on the academic program, and discussion of the administration’s progress and next steps in this area started, appropriately, with a reading of the college’s MISSION and CORE VALUES.
The Board of Trustees knows and has evidence from past experience in business, community engagement and throughout the college’s history that building a student body that brings different experiences and perspectives to our community will strengthen the academic program and enrich our college community. The Board wholeheartedly affirms the administration and endorses their efforts in this area.
Many of the recommendations and plans for action in terms of academic excellence are about access and increasing pathways and financial support for students with demonstrated financial need so that they can say yes to internships, research experiences, study abroad, leadership roles and community-based learning. Others are about advising and ensuring that student-faculty/staff mentoring relationships remain a hallmark of the Wofford experience. Again, the Board appreciates the recent $150 million gift to the endowment from Jerry Richardson ’59, which will allow, over time, for the college to provide many of these opportunities to students with demonstrated financial need, increasing access and opportunity.
To be clear, this is about doing more of the good things we are already doing and doing them even better because of what we have learned from student leaders and the JEDI process. Academic rigor at Wofford College remains a priority, as does our affiliation with the United Methodist Church and the denomination’s foundational commitment to education for all. At Wofford College, teaching and learning about multiple perspectives has always been a part of who we are. Again, there is no need to shelter Wofford students from challenging conversations about issues that have shaped our world today and that will be a part of their future long after they graduate. Wofford College continues that tradition both in and out of the classroom, and the Board rejects any claims that Wofford College is now, or will ever, “indoctrinate” students into any one narrow line of thought or dilute the quality and rigor of our academic program. This is simply not true.
Supporting the student experience
As the demographics change for students who will be entering high school over the next decade and beyond, Wofford College continues to work to strategically place itself in a position to recruit and support top students best equipped to achieve success at Wofford. The administration’s work regarding the student experience revolves around this reality, and the Board affirms and endorses the administration’s ongoing efforts to make Wofford more accessible and welcoming for all students who seek a rigorous academic experience.
We are eager to see the progress over time of the college’s new strategic enrollment plan, which builds on current successes in the areas of academic excellence, selectivity and diversity. We support Campus Union’s establishment of a diversity, equity and inclusion committee and recognize the need to acknowledge faculty and staff work in this area as well. We also support assessment and improvement in the general education curriculum and first-year experience, as well as in the retention and support of returning students.
The JEDI report made several recommendations to add staff, and the Board believes that the administration’s assessment of programs and needs is essential before the consideration of additional staff.
Accepting and expanding Recommendation 1
We must tell the truth, and we must ensure that student success is at the core of all that we are and all that we do. Our campus must be a safe and welcoming place for all, and every policy and every opportunity must be designed in ways that open doors and create possibilities. For that reason, the Board believes that considering Recommendation 1, the only recommendation fully within the purview of the Board — to “Adopt a new naming system for current and future residence halls” — cannot be separated from Recommendation 4 (“Establish a history and memory committee tasked with the development and implementation of projects”) and Recommendation 5 (“Create a position of campus historian or historian of the college”).
We must know our history and find ways — within the best United Methodist traditions — not only to celebrate our successes and the good we have contributed to the world, but also to recognize the wrongs of the past and turn toward the future stronger and more resolute in our desire to do good.
Already, we have joined several national groups that will support our efforts to learn more about our college’s early years. A college historian would play a vital role in researching and telling the college’s story in ways that both educate and build on the progress that has led to the Wofford College we know today. In addition, the college historian could teach courses on the college’s history and work with student leaders who are interested in delving more deeply into the college’s past.
When combined with Recommendations 4 and 5, the Board accepts and expands on Recommendation 1 and will form an ad hoc committee to examine in greater detail the college’s history and the names of all buildings that are named honorifically (without donor funding). The committee will then propose to the Board a plan for illuminating a more accurate and full history of the college as well as recommendations for using the names of buildings to emphasize Wofford’s common history and community.
The Board acknowledges the pain caused by the past and by buildings named honorifically for the college’s first three presidents, all of whom owned enslaved people. Although we are not changing the names of these three residence halls, there is an expectation that the work of this committee will begin this fall and end with the presentation of a plan to better document our complete history and the committee’s recommendation of a possible future naming policy for review by the conclusion of the academic year.
The JEDI report gave compelling options regarding building names, suggesting ways for residence halls and other buildings to emphasize Wofford’s common history while fostering community. However, the Board must also recognize the inconsistency of changing the names of Carlisle, Shipp and Wightman halls without changing the name of the college, which was founded with a bequest from the will of the Rev. Benjamin Wofford, a United Methodist minister who also owned enslaved people. The Board prefers to be consistent, and we feel that this explanation, excerpted from an early JEDI working group report, helps to do so: “Historical investigation requires contextualization and objective analysis of available evidence. Most Americans find slave ownership morally repugnant in 2021; most white South Carolinians in the 1850s did not. The available records offer minimal insight.” In agreement, the Board does not recommend that residence halls be renamed solely because the college’s first three presidents owned enslaved people. To do so would be to “demand of them a moral vision that would have been uncommon for their age.”
An authentic history will define both their positive impact on the college and their participation in the institution of slavery. We recognize that this is not just important for current students, but also for prospective students to understand that Wofford College is wrestling with its past and is committed to ensuring that their experience on campus will be one of honesty.
The Board would like to make clear that current buildings that bear the names of individuals who have made transformative financial gifts to the college will not be considered in this policy. Wofford College needs physical spaces, programs, professorships and scholarships to carry out its mission. Buildings and named and endowed funds designated for these purposes fuel student success, and the college both welcomes and appreciates these investments in the student experience.
The Wofford College Board of Trustees is committed to the college’s mission and core values, and the administration’s response to the recommendations of the JEDI committee align with those.
Again, the Board affirms the dedication and commitment of President Samhat and the administration and has great confidence in their ability to work with students, alumni, faculty, staff and community partners to address JEDI recommendations, considering budgetary implications and prioritizing improvements that will enrich the student experience.
Consistency, transparency and communications are essential to our college’s success in this area. To this end, the administration has developed an action plan and a webpage (Wofford.edu/strategicvision), on which updates will be posted. Please refer to that site and consider ways that you, too, can contribute to student success at Wofford College.
Adopt a naming system for current and future residence halls purposefully chosen to emphasize Wofford’s common history and community.
The board of trustees created two ad hoc committees during the Fall 2021 semester to respond to issues raised in the JEDI report, an ad hoc committee on honorific space designations and an ad hoc committee on Wofford history and memory. The former was charged with developing and proposing a policy according to which proposed changes to campus spaces’ names would be considered. This ad hoc committee submitted its recommended policy language to the board at its May 2022 meeting and the final language was approved and reported to the Wofford community on July 21, 2022. The policy may be found here. OMC and facilities are developing a proposal for exterior and interior campus building signs and recognition areas. The proposal will be included in the spring 2023 R&R budget. The ad hoc committee on history and memory proposed a timeline under which the college will develop a plan for presenting its history more fully and inclusively across multiple platforms. Some of this work has already been accomplished, as is discussed more fully under Recommendation 4 below.
Allocate and raise funds for the construction of a new house or houses within the Greek Village for National Panhellenic Council (NPHC) fraternities and sororities, and for support of the activities and functions of these organizations. Address inequities in policies in the use of these spaces.
The college has not allocated or raised funds for the construction of a new house or new houses for NPHC fraternities and sororities. Instead, college personnel have been working first to revive inactive chapters of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and to bring two sororities, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., back to campus. The college is pleased to report that it has made progress in reviving both fraternities. The sororities’ national organizations are not establishing new chapters at the time of this update’s completion. We will explore reviving these organizations as soon as we are able to do so. Space needs will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.
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.
While the college currently has no plans to construct new buildings as suggested in this recommendation, Wofford has taken steps to address AMS House scheduling concerns mentioned in the recommendation’s rationale. The college recently launched its new online events management and room reservation system, SKEDDA, which should make space reservation far easier. Chartered student organizations may use college facilities for no cost. Spaces that are popular for student events include, but are not limited to, the Tony White Theater, the McMillan Theater, the game room, the Ben Johnson arena, the Galleria, the Pavilion at Wightman Hall, the Richardson Pavilion in the Stewart Johnson Greek Village, the courtyard behind JJR Hall, Shipp Hall Lounge, the mall between Shipp and DuPré Halls and the rooms in Burwell. Students find these to be safe spaces.
Establish a Wofford History and Memory Committee tasked with the development and implementation of projects.
An ad hoc Wofford History and Memory Committee was created in Spring 2022. The committee’s members are Dr. Dwain Pruitt, Chief Equity Officer; Dr. Tracy Revels, Professor of History and Laura and Winston Hoy Professor of Humanities; Rev. Dr. Ronald Robinson, Perkins-Prothro Chaplain and Professor of Religion; and Dr. Phillip Stone, College Archivist. This committee collaborated on the creation of a new online college history, available here. The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) has secured grant funding supported by the Council of Independent Colleges and Lily Endowment Inc. to produce a history of Black faculty, staff, and students at Wofford. This project will be published in 2024 to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the college’s desegregation. This will be the first of a series of oral history projects leading up to a proposed new institutional history to commemorate the college’s 175th anniversary in 2029. OEDI is also taking the lead on history programming. OMC has worked with students, the archivist and others to create a walking history memory and place video tour, available here. Stories about the tour and the students who participated in the research and appeared in the video have been included in the Summer issue of Wofford Today and in the Conquer & Prevail e-newsletter. The tour is on the Wofford website and has been featured in social media. OMC also developed decals with QR codes that link to the tour. These decals have been placed on signs throughout campus. OMC has also developed a series of celebratory banners for the light poles on campus that celebrate the college’s “firsts” and other special traditions. A story featuring these banners is in the Winter 2022 issue of Wofford Today. The banners will be placed on campus during special events including Family Weekend, Homecoming and Commencement.
Create a position of campus historian or historian of the college.
The college has not yet appointed or hired a Campus Historian or Historian of the College. This work continues to be performed by the college archivist, special collections staff in the Sandor Teszler Library, and members of the ad hoc Wofford History and Memory Committee.
Increase Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and other forms of diversity in faculty, staff and administration.
Wofford is an institutional member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. NCFDD offers “on-demand access to the mentoring, tools, and supported needed to be successful in the Academy.” During the Fall 2022 semester, Wofford joined the Consortium for Faculty Diversity. Consortium participation will allow Wofford to consider applications for dissertation and post-doctoral fellowships from scholars whose hire would serve to increase its ethnic and racial diversity. Furthermore, OMC works with Human Resources to edit and post-employment opportunities to Wofford.edu with the following language:
EEO STATEMENT Wofford College values diversity within our students, faculty and staff and strives to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people. Wofford College does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected status in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. For information about Wofford’s Title IX compliance, visit wofford.edu/administration/title-ix. It is the policy of Wofford College to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities for employment. If you require any accommodations to participate in any part of the hiring process, please contact HumanResources@Wofford.edu.
In addition, in marketing the college, OMC works to be inclusive and authentic in its representation of the Wofford College student body, faculty, staff and alumni. The Office of Human Resources provided information on the faculty and staff’s demographic profiles. These data are presented as a baseline against which change and/or progress will be measured.
|FACULTY BY RANK AND GENDER|
|Fall 2021||Fall 2022|
|Professor||Associate Professor||Assistant Professor||Other||Professor||Associate Professor||Assistant Professor||Other|
|Other Gender Identity||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|FACULTY BY RANK AND ETHNICITY|
|Fall 2021||Fall 2022|
|Male||Female||Other Gender Identity||Male||Female||Other Gender Identity|
|American Indian/Alaska Native|
|Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander|
|Two or More Races||2||2|
|ALL STAFF BY GENDER AND RACE AND ETHNICITY|
|Fall 2021||Fall 2022|
|Male||Female||Other Gender Identity||Male||Female||Other Gender Identity|
|American Indian/Alaska Native|
|Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander|
|Two or More Races||2||4||2||3|
Restructure academic advising.
Dr. Carol Wilson will also be stepping down from her role as Coordinator of Advising in summer 2023. The Provost’s Office is currently beginning a search for a full-time staff member who will serve as Director of Advising beginning in July 2023.
Enhance general education and major curricula with increased course content related to race, ethnicity and legacies of colonialism.
In Spring 2022, an ad hoc faculty committee led by Dr. Anne Catllá, Associate Provost for Curriculum and Co-Curriculum, was tasked with designing a race and ethnicity general education requirement and with assessing and reframing the college’s Cultures and Peoples requirement. The committee proposed learning objectives and outcomes for Cultures and Peoples, to be re-designated Global Experience & Perspectives, and a Diverse U.S. Experiences & Perspectives requirement that would allow students to explore diversity in United States across a number of categories. These proposals have been forwarded to the General Education Transformation committee, which has developed an overall new general education program for the faculty’s consideration. The new general education program will receive a faculty vote during Spring 2023.
Increase infrastructure support for the FYI program.
The FYI Program and first-year orientation programs are supported by the Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) and the Office of Student Success. These programs are woven seamlessly together from the process of selecting a qualified and diverse pool of orientation staff members in the spring, throughout the fall semester, and ending at the conclusion of the first academic year. FYI 101 instructors undertake content and pedagogical training each summer. Weekly meetings are held throughout the fall semester to provide needed support and assistance. All instructors were invited to receive a stipend for completing online diversity training through the Gardner Center Institute’s Teaching and Learning Academy.
In addition, the Office of Student Success has been able to fund five FYI 101 instructors to the First Year Experience conference hosted by the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Additional funding to support a rotating schedule of 4 instructors per year would be beneficial.
Expand ongoing assessment and professional development to work toward greater equity in the academic majors.
Funded by Wofford’s $250,000 Arthur Vining Davis Foundation grant, faculty teams in 15 academic departments have engaged in in-depth study of seven years of DFWI rates in courses in their majors, with special attention to courses that serve as entry points into majors or courses within the major that all students must take. After faculty teams identified problematic areas in their DFWI data, they completed equity-related professional development workshops via the John N. Gardner Institute. Finally, the teams then submitted reports to the Provost’s Office outlining curricular and pedagogy-related next steps to address the problematic areas in their departmental DFWI data.
The Provost’s Office is working to identify appropriate training programs for department chairs. Two chairs have been funded to participate in one potential program; they will provide feedback on the utility of the program once they have completed it.
Revive the Wofford Gospel Choir; support and sustain it.
The Wofford Gospel Choir is currently considered inactive as it has no faculty/staff advisor. Its previous advisor left the college for another professional opportunity.
Ensure financial needs are met for laptops and course supplies.
Laptops are available to any student on a short-term loan basis through the Office of Student Success. Any student needing access may complete the laptop loaner form and receive a laptop within 24 hours (as available). Dr. James Stukes runs this program and rarely runs out of available laptops.
OMC works with Philanthropy + Engagement to share stories of students who have benefited from alumni/parent giving. We have taken over the alumni social media accounts as well and are working to boost engagement so we can do our part to increase donations.
Create equitable access to on-campus Interim courses.
The college aspires to make on-campus Interim courses for students available to students regardless of financial need. Discussions about how to make this possible are ongoing.
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.
Preliminary steps have been taken to ensure that expense does not deny Wofford students access to study abroad opportunities. The college has ten travel grant assistance funds, as well as scholarships that support Interim travel and study exclusively. The list of travel grant assistance funds may be found here. Information about Interim travel grants may be found here. The Experience Wofford program is being implemented with the hope that it may contribute to the goal of guaranteeing financial support for students with demonstrated financial need to participate in one travel/study Interim during their four years at Wofford.
Encourage coaches, advisors and the Office of International Programs to collaborate so that student-athletes who desire to study abroad can do so.
The Office of International Programs continues to support any student who wishes to study abroad, including student-athletes. In 2018 (prior to the JEDI recommendations), the OIP began partnering with Athletics and the Career Center to create and support the LevelUP program. Since the program’s inception, 18 LevelUP student-athletes have studied abroad supported by over $72,000 in LevelUP funding alone. Two more are slated to study abroad this spring, including a senior football player.
In addition to the LevelUP program, the OIP has intentionally designed processes and initiatives to support student-athletes. Accordingly, we have:
Create more equitable pathways to internships.
The Career Center is seeking to restructure the current stipend program to place more emphasis on increasing the stipend amount awarded per student, prioritizing recipient need when making award determination.
Create more equitable pathways to other student development and pre-career opportunities.
In addition to developing internship strategies, the Career Center provides one-on-one student appointments and programming to help all interested Wofford students develop professional outreach skills and offer professional skills enhancement opportunities. These programs include job shadowing, informational interviews, practicums relevant to their desired major and/or career choice and undergraduate research opportunities.
Increase amount and consistency of community engagement in the curriculum.
Community engagement on the part of Wofford’s students, faculty and staff continues to expand. The curriculum is the province of the faculty. While faculty are increasing the amount of community engagement in their courses, that is appropriately being done on an individual basis, although it is encouraged by the Office of the Provost. Currently, a faculty/staff group is meeting to discuss how community engagement might “count” in the calculation of student workloads.
Provide support to ensure public research and community-engaged research are practiced in ways that promote equity and uplift the Spartanburg community.
Through the Center for Community-Based Learning, the College now requires students who will be participating in community-based work to complete a registration form indicating the work they will be doing in the community. The document also lists seven safety practices for students participating in such work.
Develop a strategic plan for diversity recruitment and enrollment for 2022-26.
Admission and Financial Aid continue to evaluate, update and implement elements of the Strategic Enrollment Plan for 2026. The most significant changes in 2022 were recalibrating the application evaluation rubric to provide greater equity for students who apply without testing, offering to pay for travel and accommodations for accepted underrepresented students to attend The Main Event(s) and hosting a college planning event in coordination with the Citizen Scholars Institute for local high school students. In Fall 2021, the college enrolled the largest percentage of underrepresented students ever at 24% of 459 first year students, but did not continue this progress in Fall of 2022 as the percentage of underrepresented students fell to 18% of 507 new students.
OMC continues to work closely with Admission to develop marketing materials and social media posts to share the increased opportunities. OMC proactively shares student stories designed to help students underrepresented in higher education see themselves here.
Plan, implement and assess first-year orientation each year with special attention to Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) concerns.
The FYI program, academic advising, and Student Success teams were all an integral part of the institution’s most recent Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) mandated by the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The college submitted a cumulative assessment report documenting the successful achievement of all objectives.
Specific changes of interest to the JEDI report:
While not a specific request of the original JEDI report, the Office of Student Success plans to host two individuals from other colleges to review the FYI 101 curriculum and the orientation program. Currently in discussion with the Provost, the review will take place in the Spring 2023 term.
Increase staffing and support for Accessibility Services and revise relevant policies.
In 2023, CLSD seeks to hire a consultant to conduct an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) campus audit and create a long-range plan, prioritizing any action items that may be discovered.
Enhance Campus Union’s ability to represent all students.
Campus Union has created a standing Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Committee. This committee’s charge is “to encourage a more diverse and inclusive environment on campus” in partnership with campus offices. The Office of Inclusive Engagement and the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion began conversations with the current chair during the Fall 2022 semester about sponsoring a series of Spring 2023 cultural events.
Establish a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion student fund.
This recommendation called for the establishment of a unique fund to support “the continuation of anti-racism efforts on campus including programming for student organizations and collaborative efforts with faculty and staff.” Both the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Office of Inclusive Engagement provide financial and programmatic support for Diversity Council organizations. Since Fall 2021, these offices have supported programming by BSA, LGBTerriers, Minorities in STEM, OLAS, WAAPI, and WARC in addition to planning events for heritage and history month observances.
Increase support for Wofford’s counseling services.
The counseling staff is in the process of hiring a full-time counselor. Our goal is to have a new staff member in place shortly after we move back into the renovated Wellness Center. One of our goals reported to VP for CLSD is to increase the budget line for staff development and education. The counselors must complete CEUs in order to renew their licenses.
Establish a student health care coverage option for uninsured students.
At this time, this has not been accomplished. A new committee needs to be reestablished to review and present options to the cabinet and the board for approval.
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.
Title IX has received significant focus since September 2021. Its web page has been completely redone and additional community resources, including an FAQ that walks interested parties through the entire Title IX process, have been created. The web page now also features a resource brochure, more information about community OEDI has also created new explanatory printed materials. The Office of Title IX has increased the number of trainings it offers and OEDI will be hiring a third person whose primary responsibilities will be in Title IX and educational outreach programming. OEDI is investigating how peer institutions handle inappropriate behaviors that violate our community expectations, but do not rise to the level of a policy violation under the college’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy. Such behaviors are currently adjudicated under the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
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.
President Samhat hired Shannon Knupp as Interim Director of Human Resources. She began her work on July 11, 2022. As an expert in Human Resources, Ms. Knupp evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the office and made recommendations to President Samhat on policies, programs, services and staffing that can be implemented. During the Fall 2022 semester, the college hired Courtney Dobbins as Assistant Director of Human Resources to continue the HR staff’s development.
Create three annual awards for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) work.
The college already awards three annual diversity awards. The first award is called the Eric Marshall AMS Legacy Award. It used to be called the AMS Legacy award, but it was renamed in 2010 in memory of Eric Marshall, Wofford Class of 2007, who passed away suddenly. The Eric L. Marshall ’07 AMS Legacy Award is given to a senior of color who emulates Marshall’s leadership, sincerity, pure servant’s heart, trustworthiness, honesty, citizenship and love for humankind.
The other awards are The Wofford Diversity and Inclusion Awards. One of these awards is given to a Wofford student, and the other one is given to a faculty or staff member for having raised awareness about diversity, equity and inclusion in order to promote greater understanding and appreciation within the college community.
Continue justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work: (a) Establish an advisory committee on Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) issues on campus; (b) continue research and reporting from Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee’s data.
This recommendation proposed the creation of an advisory committee to “assist the [Chief Equity Officer’s] transition to a new institution” and to “[w]ork with the [Chief Equity Officer] on accountability and follow-through on the JEDI Committee recommendations.” The Chief Equity Officer asked student leaders, faculty and staff members, and alumni to serve in advisory capacities during the 2021-22 academic year. Emphasis was to be placed on JEDI Recommendation #1 and the question of space naming. Once the board of trustees formed an ad hoc committee to create a space naming policy, however, the advisory committees’ envisioned task was no longer necessary. Dr. Pruitt and Dr. Samhat have discussed the formation of a new faculty and staff advisory committee. A list of possible committee members has been prepared and submitted.
This new visioning process makes institutional diversity, equity and inclusion the full responsibility of the entire college community. It’s Wofford’s commitment to the future.Vision Statement
A 16-member steering committee consisting of student representatives, faculty, staff, alumni and trustees is leading the visioning process focused on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.The Committee
Meet the researchers who are leading the discussion on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.JEDI Consultants
The JEDI Committee will focus on five areas and committee members serve on working groups focused on each topic.Working Groups
The JEDI Committee wants to hear from others and listening sessions are being scheduled with students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents of Wofford students, friends of the college and the greater Spartanburg community.Listening Sessions
Here is what the committee is reading to inform our work. Please join us in our readings and check back often as we update the list.Data and Readings
A team of student researchers and a junior consultant supporting the process.Student Researchers
Learning more about the college’s new strategic visionQ&A with JEDI