Strategic Vision

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.

Board Message

Background
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

Expressing gratitude
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.

In conclusion
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.

Recommendation 1

Adopt a naming system for current and future residence halls purposefully chosen to emphasize Wofford’s common history and community.

Progress

  • The Office of Marketing and Communications is working on a proposal for new exterior and interior campus building signs and recognition areas.

Next Steps

  • 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.

Recommendation 2

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.

Progress

  • Omega Psi Phi fraternity plans to have active members on campus during the 2021-22 academic year.
  • Faculty, staff and alumni who are members of National Panhellenic Council (NPHC) sororities and fraternities have been meeting with students and working with staff in Campus Life and Student Development to increase National Panhellenic Council (NPHC) presence on campus.
  • Multicultural organizations on campus and National Panhellenic Council (NPHC) sororities and fraternities have preferred use of the Meadors Multicultural House in the Stewart H. Johnson Greek Village.

Next Steps

  • Audit policies and practices and continue efforts to secure National Panhellenic Council (NPHC) chapters on campus.
  • Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) will invite presidents and leaders of the diversity council organizations to the risk management training session with the college attorney so all fraternity and sorority presidents complete the same training.
  • Moving forward, the Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) staff will uphold transparency in how the Meadors Multicultural House is reserved for programs and events to promote greater student engagement among students and National Panhellenic Council (NPHC) organizations.

Recommendation 3

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.

Progress

  • The college is redeveloping the Tony White Theater in the Mungo Student Center with expanded and flexible student meeting/activity spaces.
  • The Burwell Building will have enhanced and additional meeting space.
  • Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) has reorganized staff and responsibilities to better support all student organizations.

Next Steps

  • Develop an online room reservation form to eliminate the perception of a “gatekeeper,” also making room reservations more efficient.
  • Improve communication of those policies and practices.
  • Post the copy of the lease that fraternities and sororities sign with the college on a secure site so all students are aware of the standards for all houses in the Stewart H. Johnson Greek Village.

Recommendation 4

Establish a Wofford History and Memory Committee tasked with the development and implementation of projects.

Progress

  • The Office of Marketing and Communications will continue to consult with the college archivist and others to share the college’s history in a way that builds community and provides context for the present.
  • The Office of Marketing and Communications is working with the archivist and student leaders to develop a history walking tour, which should be ready early in the fall 2021 semester. Anyone interested — FYI classes, alumni, families, community members — could take the self-guided tour using their phone or a print brochure.

Next Steps

  • Consider drafting a charge and membership of such a group, appointed by the President, that makes recommendations to the President and Board of Trustees annually.

Recommendation 5

Create a position of campus historian or historian of the college.

Progress

  • The archivist does some of this already and could lead the committee suggested in Recommendation 4 above.
  • The archival space in the Sandor Teszler Library has been updated with additional storage and research space.

Next Steps

  • In consultation with stakeholders, consider drafting a formal position description and assessing budget implications, including the impact on the current work of the college archivist.
  • Consider a campaign to raise funds to support some or all of this position (endowed chair).

Recommendation 6

Increase Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and other forms of diversity in faculty, staff and administration.

Progress

  • Wofford has a Search Advocate Program and follows best practices as we seek a diverse pool of applicants for all positions.
  • We have had success in hiring a more diverse faculty and staff. Since 2016, the college has hired 34 full-time faculty members (including tenure-track and full-time visiting assistant professors); 20 (59%) have been women and 9 (26%) are people of color. Nationally, about 7% of doctoral degrees are earned by Black Ph.D. candidates. A similar percentage are awarded to LantinX candidates; indigenous doctorates total less than 1% of the doctoral pool.

Next Steps

  • Join the Consortium for Faculty Diversity and consider transition of post-doctoral appointments into tenure-track appointments.
  • The Provost will work with the Chief Equity Officer to develop a strategy to bring more diverse faculty to campus.

Recommendation 7

Restructure academic advising.

Progress

  • Advising has been a topic of conversation with the Provost, including restructuring our advising program.
  • The college developed a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) in 2015-16 that created student success teams. Each incoming first-year student is assigned a faculty academic advisor, a staff guide, a student peer leader and a personal librarian. That team makes up their first advising cohort and helps them build an additional network of support.

Next Steps

  • Conduct a national search for a Dean of Academic Advising.
  • Task the Provost with bringing together advising stakeholders to consider new practices, structures, policies and expectations for advising across all areas (i.e. athletics) and student groups on campus.

Recommendation 8

Enhance general education and major curricula with increased course content related to race, ethnicity and legacies of colonialism.

Progress

  • The administration and Board support the ongoing work of the faculty to review and refine the general education curriculum through their governance processes.
  • Funded by the Mellon Foundation, the faculty recently completed a thorough review of the general education curriculum.

Next Steps

  • Recommend that the Provost and the faculty develop a committee to consider DEI implications in the Cultures & Peoples general education requirement.

Recommendation 9

Increase infrastructure support for the FYI program.

Progress

  • The FYI Program is supported by the Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) and the Dean of Student Success. Now in its 17th year, the program is an integral part of first-year student success and retention. Instructors spend time each summer in training sessions. Instructors are evaluated at the end of each semester by students who complete the course. These evaluations are shared with the instructors.
  • The Gateway Scholars Program for a cohort of first-generation students is a model for first-year orientation, advising and support. Of the 18 in the first class of Gateway Scholars, all 18 graduated in four years or less, and all have positive career outcomes.

Next Steps

  • Conduct an external review and assessment of our first-year transition courses.
  • Enhance training for non-faculty FYI instructors.

Recommendation 10

Expand ongoing assessment and professional development to work toward greater equity in the academic majors.

Progress

  • The Arthur Vining Davis grant has provided funding for a deep dive for department chairs into each department’s DFWI rates. (The DFWI rate is the percentage of students in a course or program who get a D or F grade, withdraw (“W”) from a course, or whose progress in the course is recorded as incomplete (“I”).
  • The faculty continue to participate in the Teach.Equity.Now program.
  • The Department of Mathematics is working with a consultant to improve their DFWI rate. This is not about ensuring that every student receives an A in the class. Instead, the department wants to ensure that each student, regardless of their circumstances, has access to the support and services they need to be successful.

Next Steps

  • The administration and Board will support the faculty in their ongoing work to improve DFWI rates and ensure that all students get the individualized support they need.
  • Continue Teach.Equity.Now.
  • Implement anti-bias training for department chairs.

Recommendation 11

Revive the Wofford Gospel Choir; support and sustain it.

Progress

  • The Gospel Choir is a student-led organization. Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) has been paying a small stipend to music ministers from the Spartanburg area to lead our Gospel Choir program for more than two decades.
  • Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) and Campus Union have helped fund Gospel Choir activities and travel.

Next Steps

  • Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) to fund the Gospel Choir for the 2021-22 academic year.
  • Consider having the Provost work with the music faculty to organize this choir within the Department of Music. If the department moves to create a formal academic program (i.e. a degree granting program), issuing credit is possible.

Recommendation 12

Ensure financial needs are met for laptops and course supplies.

Progress

  • Through Financial Aid, the Office of Student Success, Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD), Athletics and the Office of the Chaplain, the college identifies student needs for course supplies and access to laptops, etc.
  • The Office of Student Success uses an Equity Toolkit, a process available from the student success web page, to meet a variety of student needs. The office also worked with students to develop a Terrier Supply Closet for students with food insecurity. The Class of 2021 created an endowed fund to support the Terrier Supply Closet with their class gift.
  • Trustees, other supporters and the Office of Advancement continue to raise funds to meet student need. There are 10 special funds to assist students with unique needs, including the OneWofford fund, Scudder Fund, Asmer Fund, McGehee Fund, Follet Bookstore Fund, Mungo World Experience Fund and several Interim travel funds.

Next Steps

  • Consider establishing a more public fund to support students who have demonstrated need.
  • Consider pop-up crowd-funding initiatives that ask alumni to make an immediate gift to address a specific need (i.e. Donors Choose). This could be a great way to engage younger donors who are looking for a way to make an impact on the student experience.

Recommendation 13

Create equitable access to on-campus Interim courses.

Progress

  • The college has been raising funds to support this goal, based on demonstrated financial need.

Next Steps

  • Continue to raise funds to support on- and off-campus Interim experiences. Any such fund must be based on demonstrated need, with specific Expected Family Contribution (EFC) criteria.
  • Consider capping on-campus Interim fees.

Recommendation 14

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.

Progress

  • Major gifts from the Richardsons, Johnsons, Melvins, Cokers and Mungos, as well as endowed funds in honor of Joe and Ruth Lesesne and others are already or will soon be addressing this concern. An application is required to secure these funds, and all are based on demonstrated need with specific Expected Family Contribution (EFC) criteria. There are more than a dozen funds that meet these criteria.

Next Steps

  • Establish best-practice standards for intercultural learning that improve the Interim experience. Create an ad hoc committee with the goal of developing new standards and practices.

Recommendation 15

Encourage coaches, advisors and the Office of International Programs to collaborate so that student-athletes who desire to study abroad can do so.

Progress

  • Athletics continues to collaborate with the Office of International Programs to assist student-athletes in studying abroad when practical to do so.
  • Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Baseball have created opportunities for their teams to travel and learn abroad as a group.
  • The LevelUp program is designed to support this initiative for a cohort of 20 student-athletes (with demonstrated need) per year.

Next Steps

  • Engage stakeholders in Athletics, the Provost’s Office and International Programs in exploring opportunities and avenues for more study abroad.
  • Suggest a special initiative for foreign travel for student-athletes; funds have been secured to provide an opportunity to do so. Consider timing with a 3-4 week window beginning the week after graduation.
  • Review and redesign LevelUp.

Recommendation 16

Create more equitable pathways to internships.

Progress

  • College leaders continue to secure funding for high-impact practices. The gifts from Mr. Richardson and others will have a significant impact.
  • Continue to tell stories about internships and their value. In telling these stories, we identify potential alumni, business and community support.
  • LevelUp assists in finding opportunities for internships for student-athletes.
  • Equity Toolkit funding is available to support this.
  • Developed an IBM Pitchbook with alumni support that can serve as a template for other corporate partnerships.

Next Steps

  • Plan for the increasing flow of resources to support internships, based on demonstrated need. The Career Center should examine their operations and determine ways to support student access to opportunities.
  • Consider funding summer housing on campus for students interning in the Upstate.
  • Career Center to reach out to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) alumni to build internship support and professional connections.
  • Enhance communication of opportunities.

Recommendation 17

Create more equitable pathways to other student development and pre-career opportunities.

Progress

  • The college increased student stipends for research during summer 2021, and there is a plan in place to raise the hourly wage for collaborative research.
  • Continue to tell stories about Career Outcomes and successful graduates. These connections help identify potential alumni, business and community support.
  • Several departments on campus offer internships, work-study, leadership committees and career development opportunities. Some are for academic credit, some are voluntary, some offer pay, some allow for both academic credit and pay.
  • Campus Union officers and its committee chairs receive monthly stipends for their service.

Next Steps

  • Consider how the increasing flow of resources for student experiences will impact student development and pre-career opportunities based on demonstrated need. Also, consider forming an ad hoc committee of stakeholders to examine pathways for student development opportunities.

Recommendation 18

Increase amount and consistency of community engagement in the curriculum.

Progress

  • The administration continues to support faculty development and review of the curriculum.
  • We already have a Community-Engaged Faculty Fellows program to accomplish much of this work, and several faculty members have developed impressive mutually beneficial relationships in our community.
  • The first-year Living Learning Communities have a community engagement component.
  • We have initiatives in the Northside and Glendale as well as with Bonner Scholars partner organizations, both in the curriculum and co-curriculum.
  • Co-curricularly, student-athletes participate in an Education Day that brings local elementary students to campus. Student-athletes also spend time in the community reading in elementary schools and mentoring students.
  • As part of new student orientation, the Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) staff leads first-year students in a community service project that benefits local elementary schools. This sets the tone for future community engagement.
  • Continue telling stories of these partnerships and the benefits of community engagement.

Next Steps

  • Formally recognize the importance of community engagement and encourage faculty to deepen their efforts in this regard. The Provost is positioned to facilitate this discussion through faculty governance processes.
  • Beginning in the fall of 2021, the new class deans in Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) will be exploring partnerships with Academic Affairs and the Career Center to develop co-curricular experiences in the community. We will promote this change and the opportunities it presents.

Recommendation 19

Provide support to ensure public research and community-engaged research are practiced in ways that promote equity and uplift the Spartanburg community.

Progress

  • Continue to pursue community engagement in a way that benefits both the student and the community. Continue to tell stories of community engagement.
  • Wofford College continues to improve, and as Wofford improves, so does our community. Wofford faculty and staff are active individually in our community — as taxpayers, consumers, volunteers and leaders.
  • Wofford has a Center for Community-Based Learning that houses the Bonner Scholars program and supports a variety of other community engagement efforts.
  • Students will be housed in a new Northside residence hall this academic year. We’ve hired a program manager to work with the Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL), faculty, students and community partners to deepen Wofford’s involvement in the Northside and the broader Spartanburg community.

Next Steps

  • Encourage faculty efforts around community-based research, noting that it is (as explained in the Recommendation) the purview of the faculty to develop policies around research grants, etc.
  • Evaluate the Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL), its programming and networks of support for curricular development, etc.
  • Host a college planning event for the community, possibly in conjunction with other Spartanburg colleges and universities.

Recommendation 20

Develop a strategic plan for diversity recruitment and enrollment for 2022-26.

Progress

  • A diverse student body remains a goal, and for the incoming class, 24% are students of color, a record for the college.
  • Initiated the GOLD (Growing Our Leadership through Diversity) Scholarship.
  • Changed the way Admission Ambassadors and Bellringers are selected to encourage greater participation from underrepresented student populations.
  • Joined the American Talent Initiative with a goal of 20% Pell-eligible.
  • Created a scholarship ($25,000) for first-generation students.
  • Created a scholarship for students who complete the Citizen Scholars Program.
  • Evaluated and enhanced the communications plan for underrepresented students.
  • Purchased lists of underrepresented students from a variety of vendors to ensure diversity in our prospect and inquiry pools.
  • Contacted all Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) students scheduled to be accepted in Early Action to encourage them to file Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Identify and feature underrepresented students in Admission marketing materials. Continue to work to balance the desire to show the diversity we want with authentic representation of the Wofford experience.
  • Continue to share stories of students underrepresented in higher education so prospective students “see themselves at Wofford.”

Next Steps

  • The offices of Admission and Financial Aid are about to share a new strategic enrollment plan. In large measure the planning effort will reflect the significant impact of Mr. Richardson’s gift, which provides scholarships for students with financial need.
  • Consider offering selected students travel expenses and lodging for events for accepted students in the spring.

Recommendation 21

Plan, implement and assess first-year orientation each year with special attention to Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) concerns.

Progress

  • The planning and assessment of new student orientation occurs each year, and the dean of first-year programs selects orientation staff with inclusion in mind.
  • A cohort of about 20 first-generation students participate in the Gateway Scholars Program. As members of this program, the students participate in an extended orientation, so they have more time with their advisors.

Next Steps

  • Consider an external review of first-year orientation in collaboration with Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) and academic advising.

Recommendation 22

Increase staffing and support for Accessibility Services and revise relevant policies.

Progress

  • Wofford is compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policies.
  • Wofford hired a full-time Accessibility Services manager in 2019 to assist in managing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requests.
  • All new buildings and renovations are compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. The housing policy has been reviewed, and our current policy is consistent with our peers.
  • Residence Life has submitted a plan to Facilities to add a kitchen in Carlisle Hall in 2022.
  • Residence Life staff work with staff in Accessibility Services to meet housing accommodations.

Next Steps

  • 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.
  • Investigate software support options for Accessibility Services.

Recommendation 23

Enhance Campus Union’s ability to represent all students.

Progress

  • Campus Union officers and delegates are elected. Every full-time student is given the opportunity to vote in the online elections. Campus Union represents all students, and a newly formed committee of the student government is going to work to ensure that continues to happen.
  • Cabinet has met with Campus Union executive officers (spring 2021), and Dylan Goshorn has met individually with the Office of Marketing and Communications to discuss ways to share Campus Union commitments to DEI and other news that comes out of the assembly so their work is more transparent. They do much for the campus community, but some of it is behind the scenes. The Office of Marketing and Communications has committed to assist as they bring their work forward in the coming year.

Next Steps

  • Campus Union has created an ad hoc committee that is working to review bylaws. Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) will continue to support this group.

Recommendation 24

Establish a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion student fund.

Progress

  • Alumni have donated funding designated specifically for DEI work on campus, for example the Wofford Way Unity Fund (Craig Davis, the Class of 1969 and others).
  • The college increased budgets in academic and Campus Life and Student Development (CLSD) from $38k in 2019 to $53k in 2020-21 for diversity and inclusion programming; this does not include support from the President’s Office or direct funding from the Provost’s Office, nor does it include staffing.

Next Steps

  • Review available campus funding to determine existing levels of support for activities related to diversity and inclusion.
  • Consult with the new Chief Equity Officer to consider a plan to support this area.
  • Consider ways that the Wofford Way Unity Fund could be leveraged to fuel student innovation in the area of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Recommendation 25

Increase support for Wofford’s counseling services.

Progress

  • The college supports almost 4 FTEs for counseling services, which is above the number listed in the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) report. A new counselor who brings a diverse perspective joined the staff in early 2020.
  • There is no waiting list for students who have requested a counseling appointment with one of the college’s counselors. Students who cannot secure a counselor immediately through the online portal can contact the Wellness Center for other options.
  • A 24-hour hotline is available for all members of our community.
  • Funds for professional development for college counselors were added to the FY22 budget.

Next Steps

  • Educate students on expanded counseling services and options available to them.
  • Ask the counseling staff to consider alternative approaches to managing caseloads: capping visits (versus unlimited visits), transitioning to local/area counseling services.
  • Examine what is an appropriate level of counseling services for a college the size of Wofford, benchmarking other colleges and universities.

Recommendation 26

Establish a student health care coverage option for uninsured students.

Progress

  • Examining options for making available student-paid health care coverage through our current benefits provider.
  • Resident students may see the college nurse or nurse practitioner at no cost in the Wellness Center.
  • The college has always supported uninsured students on a case-by-case basis.

Next Steps

  • Consider options currently under review so we can ensure that uninsured students are covered.

Recommendation 27

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.

Progress

  • Wofford already requires annual online Title IX training of students and employees.
  • The staff on the Title IX team are responsive, thorough and consistent in applying the policy.
  • Many departments on campus have taken this a step further and have been proactive in participating in National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) training. This is offered throughout the year by the college’s volunteer National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) team.
  • The exposure to different people and ideas on campus — in our community or speakers from outside — creates a culture of respect and appreciation, which is also a proactive way of heading off Title IX issues.
  • Wofford’s staffing model in Title IX is consistent with other similarly resourced institutions.
  • Our policies and practices are reviewed thoroughly every summer by our Title IX coordinator and outside counsel. Those policies are announced at the beginning of every semester in a message from the President of the college and in routine messaging from the Title IX office. The policy is posted on the college’s website.

Next Steps

  • The new Chief Equity Officer position will have Title IX as a direct report. That individual should have the opportunity to assess our Title IX approach before we make changes.
  • Consider outsourcing some Title IX work, including investigations, which can consume the most time.

Recommendation 28

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.

Progress

  • Wofford has a team of faculty and staff who are trained to be search advocates. The pools of candidates for almost every position on campus have been more diverse since 2019.
  • Human Resources (HR) has collaborated with the Office of Marketing and Communications on a new staff handbook. It will be ready by the start of the fall 2021 semester.
  • The Office of Marketing and Communications works with Human Resources (HR), the President’s Office and others on campus regarding messaging. The Daily Announcements remain a consistent and easy option for regular communication with employees. We also help send special messages. Transparency and accuracy are priorities.
  • The Richardson gift allowed for the college to increase the minimum compensation to $15/hour.

Next Steps

  • Consider a compensation study for non-faculty.
  • Review institutional policies with regard to bias.
  • Develop a pool of funding for supervisor training and support.

Recommendation 29

Create three annual awards for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) work.

Progress

  • Wofford gives several diversity awards for students: Wofford Diversity and Inclusion Awards (given annually to one student and one faculty/staff member), Heart of the Terrier Leadership Awards (given annually to students who have made a positive difference on campus), and the Eric L. Marshall ’07 Association of Multicultural Students (AMS) Legacy Award (awarded annually to a senior of color who emulates the award’s namesake).

Next Steps

  • Consider additional named diversity awards with monetary recognition to include faculty and staff as well as students.

Recommendation 30

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.

Progress

  • Over the past seven years, the college has placed increasing emphasis on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, for example the President’s Committee on Diversity, the addition of faculty and staff positions devoted to DEI work, and the creation of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI). Support of work in this area will continue.
  • The college is in the final stages of hiring a new Chief Equity Officer, who will lead our community’s efforts in this area.

Next Steps

  • Once the Chief Equity Officer (CEO) is hired, work will begin to assess operational and strategic needs. The establishment of an advisory committee seems likely.

Vision Statement

Vision Statement

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
The Committee

The Committee

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
JEDI Consultants

JEDI Consultants

Meet the researchers who are leading the discussion on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

JEDI Consultants
Working Groups

Working Groups

The JEDI Committee will focus on five areas and committee members serve on working groups focused on each topic.

Working Groups
Reports

Reports

Learn more about the process, committee recommendations and themes from listening sessions and surveys.

Reports
Listening Sessions

Listening Sessions

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
Data and Readings

Data and Readings

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
Student Researchers

Student Researchers

A team of student researchers and a junior consultant supporting the process.

Student Researchers
Q&A with JEDI

Q&A with JEDI

Learning more about the college’s new strategic vision

Q&A with JEDI