Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
On June 4, the board of trustees at Washington and Lee University voted 22 to 6 to maintain the school’s name, which in part commemorates Confederate general and former university president Robert E. Lee. According to the New York Times, calls for the university to change its name intensified last July and prompted a months-long review of the history of the school and its surrounding town, Lexington, Virginia. The board ultimately approved plans to change the name of the Lee Chapel to University Chapel, renovate the chapel to separate Lee’s crypt from the auditorium, and disband Founders Day celebrations typically held on Lee’s birthday. Inside Higher Ed reports, however, that controversy continues in the wake of the board’s verdict: While some support the decision, other students and faculty members feel let down, worrying that existing efforts to encourage diversity and inclusion will not be enough.
Inside Higher Ed covers the recent announcement on Amherst College’s newly admitted class, which is majority (50.2%) nonwhite students. Once known for its reputation in educating white, New England elites, the liberal arts school dedicates its increase in nonwhite enrollment towards an ongoing commitment to diversity and positive minority student experiences, which impact future students’ decisions to enroll. Dean Matthew L. McGann notes student outreach being a part of Amherst’s success as well as hiring more minority faculty that can serve as mentors.