Tufts Anti-Racism Initiative: Institutional Audit
On July 8, 2020, President Anthony Monaco announced the creation of a new strategic initiative aimed at making Tufts an anti-racist institution. As part of this effort, five workstreams were charged with identifying structural racism throughout the university’s academic and administrative enterprise and outlining the steps necessary for eradicating it.
Following a presentation of their findings and recommendations at a Town Hall for faculty and staff on Feb. 12, Tufts Now spoke with workstream leaders about what they found, what’s been done so far, and what to expect in the next phase of work.
Tufts Now asked Kim Ryan, vice president for human resources, and Joyce Sackey, associate provost and chief diversity officer for the health sciences schools, to share takeaways from the Institutional Audit workstream’s report. The full reports for all five workstreams are available on the Office of the President’s website.
Tufts Now: The report indicates a wide range of areas where Tufts is falling short in anti-racism efforts—from a lack of awareness, funding, and consistent policies to recruiting and admissions. What will the university do to actively address and make progress on these issues?
Kim Ryan and Joyce Sackey:The university is committed to dedicating significant resources to our anti-racism initiatives, which President Monaco stated at the Town Hall for faculty and staff on Feb. 12.
Who will make sure that policies will be changed and then enforced?
Now that work of the five workstreams is complete, they have been integrated into one plan for the university. The senior team will be reviewing the plans and clearly identifying accountability and the resources to be provided. You will be hearing more in the coming weeks.
Many of the recommendations come at a financial cost and will require dedicated efforts. How will Tufts pay for these efforts? What is the likelihood that these efforts will be funded in a time of tight budgets?
Becoming an anti-racist institute is a priority for the university and a commitment made by President Monaco. The Board of Trustees is aligned and supports providing the resources necessary to transform Tufts. As with other strategic initiatives, resource requirements are part of the budgeting process, and funding will be made available.
Some schools and administrative units seem to do a better job than others. What efforts will be made to standardize the anti-racist policies and efforts across the university, and who will assess those efforts?
The Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council will have oversight for the entire implementation and will ensure consistency across the university. Over 450 policies were reviewed and accountability to remove bias from them will be identified.