A Message from the President regarding Anti-Bias Training
I am writing to thank our community for all its ongoing support, even as we face divisive and complex times. Vassar plays an important role as an outstanding liberal arts college that prepares young adults to lead more meaningful lives and contribute positively to society.
As part of our efforts to foster a more inclusive community on campus, we have made several investments and undertaken a major five-year initiative funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation called the Engaged Pluralism Initiative (EPI). These efforts have included building open dialogue, a faculty-led initiative on inclusive pedagogy, and investment in student growth and engagement programming throughout the College.
Today I am announcing a commitment to provide all student-facing administrators and students with anti-bias training and development. Anti-bias training is necessary for a campus community intent on embracing/engaging differences and acting against bias. For student facing administrators, this training will begin in January 2019. For students, implementation of this programming will begin through Vassar's First Year Experience (FYE). The FYE will be a comprehensive and integrated effort across the Dean of the College division that enables first-year students to successfully transition to Vassar, join a campus community that values their multiple identities, and understands our institutional values of inclusion and pluralism. Anti-bias training as a part of FYE is a first-step to that goal.
At the heart of a liberal arts education is the ability to be open and respectful of perspectives and histories that differ from our own.
Over time, we believe our commitment to this programming will equip our students and ultimately all community members to participate fully in our interdependent and ever-changing world.
Elizabeth H. Bradley, President
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604