In moving Kenyon toward inclusive excellence, two types of barriers will be addressed: our practices and our structures. Action Groups will be the primary means by which we study and act to lower systemic policy and structural barriers to inclusion.
Opportunities to reflect upon and improve our practices — how we teach, behave, interact, convey a sense of belongingness, mentor, etc. — are the focus of the other elements of our HHMI IE project (Intensive Training Program, Course Innovation Grants, Natural Science Faculty Reading Group).
Action Groups composed of stakeholders with interest in a common structural barrier to inclusion will be convened, study the barrier, and act to lower or remove it. One member of the group will be selected by the group to act as Action Group Chair who will be responsible for planning the group's activities, keeping the group focused on the dual goals of study and action, and the submission of a written report. The schedule, number, and nature of Action Group meetings will be up to the members. However, for meaningful structural changes to take place, broad support will be needed and it is strongly encouraged that opportunities are made to gather the thoughts and opinions of those not in the group. Successful lowering of structural barriers may also hinge on the transparency of the process that results in proposed changes. For that reason, a record of activities (meeting minutes) will be recorded by members of the group (in a Google Doc) and saved in a mutually accessible electronic file (Google Drive) along with other information and resources gathered by the group.
Action Groups will be formed for a one-year (renewable) term although the activities of the group may be unevenly distributed throughout the year as demanded by the goals of the group. The chair and members will paid a stipend, $1000 and $500, respectively, for their engagement and contribution to the work of the group and will receive a 50 percent stipend match through the HHMI Faculty Incentive Program. To facilitate Action Group activities, a budget for meeting expenses, such as lunches, snacks, and coffee, is available and can be coordinated with the help of Shanon Hashman (administrative assistant for chemistry, psychology and neuroscience). Should the group decide that additional resources would be helpful, such as funding for attendance at a workshop, training session, or conference, consult John Hofferberth (Kenyon HHMI program director) to gauge the feasibility of such an activity.