Goal 4 Initiatives

Green Dot

#15 Faculty Center for Teaching Diversity Programming

This initiative calls for the establishment of an institutional relationship of collaboration between Multicultural Center Advisory Board and Faculty Center for Teaching, so as to better coordinate and develop professional development opportunities for faculty interested in advancing the mission of the Center.

There is little financial cost to this, and it will provide the necessary structure for sustained impact.

Green Dot

#26/27 Gender Neutral Housing Options (for First-Year Students)

These initiatives propose certain floors or sections of campus housing to be designated as gender neutral.

A Gender Neutral Housing Option is currently available for first-year students and upperclassmen. We propose better publicity and information about the availability of this option.

Green Dot

#32 Inclusive Pedagogy Programming Series

This initiative proposes sustained programming for the academic year 2014-15 to support faculty development toward inclusive classroom pedagogies and practices in the form of workshops and learning communities.

Potential speakers have been identified; the initiative very much advances goal 4. Benefits to be increased if combined with initiatives #15, #35 and #39.

Yellow Dot

#4 Comprehensive Capacity Building Program for Students and Employees

This initiative proposes the design and implementation of a comprehensive capacity building program in the form of revising employee development workshops to engage and advance dialogue, knowledge, and skills to be change agents for inclusion, equality, and justice.

Select objectives of this initiative can be met through initiatives #32 and #39. While these initiatives focus on faculty professional development, it is foreseeable that staff be part of the learning communities. 

Yellow Dot

#18 Incentivizing Campus Diversity Work

This initiative proposes to have diversity work listed in the Faculty Handbook as something that “counts.”

This initiative would require the measure of diversity work in its various forms, and could have the unintended consequence of artificially inflating the measurement of the work.

Yellow Dot

#19 Fitness and Wellness Diversity Presentation

This initiative proposes to include the ideas of the Sedehi Diversity Project to be included in the course for one day.

This is a promising mechanism for students to have an additional opportunity to encounter the ideas in the project. However, one lesson plan will not be effective, and given that some students do not fulfill this requirement until they are junior and seniors, the additional opportunity for further engagement may be moot. This discussion needs to be a unit in the course, as opposed to being a single lesson; moreover, we recommend that this unit be addressed in the first half of the course, rather than on the latter because of its primacy. We recommend that instructors of this course, as part of initiative 4, go through a 3-day workshop in May where the curriculum for this unit be designed and discussed.

Yellow Dot

#23/25 Gender Neutral Bathrooms

These initiatives call for the designation of a gender neutral bathrooms option to be available in all campus buildings.

Depending on the costing of such changes, this initiative can be further examined.

Yellow Dot

#35 Intergroup Relations Program

This initiative calls for the structural creation of an Intergroup Relations Program (IGR), first piloted at University of Michigan, to establish a “home base” for its implementation at Muhlenberg. Part of IGR’s responsibility will be to 1) train facilitators (faculty, staff, students) to effectively manage and conduct intergroup dialogue, 2) create Intergroup dialogue (IGD) courses that specifically address elements of intergroup conflict, and 3) provide consultation and/or facilitated workshops to any interested campus organization.

The impact of this program has the potential to be broad and long-lasting with regards to goal (4). However, without having trained facilitators, it will be hard to project what the structure of the program should be. Year One’s projection calls for the training of such facilitators and the creation of IGD course(s). This, in conjunction with the Faculty Center for Teaching initiative #32, should be expanded to two years. A structure to “house” IGR should be formed based on the pilot experience of IGD course(s) and workshops.

Yellow Dot

#38 Martin Luther King Week

This initiative proposes that MLK programming be expanded to address issues of inequality and injustice that many different marginalized communities have to endure, and requests a committee who will plan the Week’s programming through an allocated budget line sustained by institutional funding.

Although the impact of this initiative has been much more enhanced through a sustained program of a week, the focus of the program is still a single event either in the form of a panel or a keynote speaker. The proposal lacks detail into how requested funds will expand the program, particularly to advance the goal (4); one potential is to connect this programming with initiative #35 and #39. The proposal calls for the formation of a campus-wide committee to develop and organize this programming; the Multicultural Center Advisory Board can fill this role, or make arrangements for the formation of such a committee.

Yellow Dot

#39 Meeting Points Series

This initiative, modeled after Center for Ethics course development grants, supports faculty who connect their courses to a series of lectures and events organized by the Multicultural Center and its Advisory Board.

Provision for faculty course development grants that are tied to the mission of the Center increases visibility of the Center and provides additional opportunities for student engagement, but lacks the necessary structure for faculty to improve their existing courses. This element can be further enhanced through Faculty Center for Teaching under initiatives #32 and #35.

Yellow Dot

#48 Social Justice & Collaborative Leadership Retreat

This initiative provides an opportunity for students from the Office of Community Engagement programs (Freedom School mentors and Civic Fellows) to collaborate with other students on an organized retreat to discuss, plan, and develop “strategies of engagement and communication” across multiple communities of difference.

While the proposal presents high potential in providing opportunities for student leadership, it lacks detail as to how the retreat is organized, outside of peer-to-peer conversations, to advance the goal (4). Furthermore, it is unclear how the additional students will be solicited.

Yellow Dot

#49 Transnational and Global Subjects

Submitted by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, this initiative calls for the development of a more integrative and global perspective on diversity coupled with a methodological approach towards engendering positive social change. The three phases are designed in a step-wise fashion: 1) the development of a learning community “Stuart Hall and His Legacy for Diversity” based on contemporary work on transnationalism to be expanded to include Lehigh Valley Association of Independent College institutions; 2) appropriate curricular changes and expansion to match objectives of initiative, and 3) create courses along the theme South by South that encompass global phenomena of social change and justice. 

The first phase of this initiative can be incorporated within the larger framework of the Faculty Center for Teaching proposal on inclusive teaching. The second and third phases of this initiative require more costing.

Red Dot

#7 Dana Scholars/William Allen High School Partnership

This initiative proposes to have Dana scholars provide William Allen High School students with small-group tutoring, mentoring, and college and career support, thereby provoking thinking about civic engagement and citizenship.

This initiative creates opportunities for a select group of students to interact with “economically underprivileged” populations, but it is not clear 1) how this will not foster further stereotypes of such populations, and 2) expand beyond the Dana scholars.

Red Dot

#8 Diversity Appreciation Requirement

This initiative proposes to have students sign up to attend monthly events that are about under-represented cultures, background, or lifestyle. This would be a new per semester requirement.

This initiative “exoticizes” diversity and places undue responsibility to those identified under-represented populations to host and organize these events. The educational benefit of this initiative is questionable given the lack of reflection or critical engagement by students’ attendance.

Red Dot

#9 Diversity Component to Professor Evaluations

This initiative proposes an additional section in faculty course evaluations to measure the instructor’s proficiency in diversity issues.

The initiative will require changes to the Faculty Handbook and may be used punitively, thus limiting the advancement of the goal (4).

Red Dot

#16 Faculty Diversity and Safe Space Training

This initiative proposes that all faculty and staff be required to complete diversity and safe space training, particularly towards LGBTQIA students.

The empirical evidence for the educational benefits of “diversity training” is questionable, and it is unclear to what extent this initiative will advance goal 4.

Red Dot

#21 Funding for Lectures, Events, MILA, etc.

This initiative proposes that clubs, departments, and other groups sponsoring lectures and other community events designate priorities in diversity programming.

The proposal combines co-curricular programming together with curricular offerings (MILA). It is unclear if the proposers intend for funding to be set aside for under-represented groups to attend MILA or Alternative Spring Breaks, or if diversity programming should be offered across different clubs and departments on campus.

Red Dot

#22 Gamification in Academia

This initiative proposes the use of gamification to attract and retain students from populations that “shy away from academia due to their personal and social beliefs (cultural differences, etc.)”

It is unclear how this initiative strengthens the teaching and learning about diversity, as stated in goal 4. There is an underlying assumption that students from certain populations “learn differently,” and that is not the objective of the goal.

Red Dot

#31 I AM Muhlenberg

This initiative proposes using visual imagery and textual information (similar to “I, Too, am Harvard”) to raise awareness of diversity and social equity within the Muhlenberg context by having poster-like and online displays that “expose the misunderstandings and perceptions that exist, particularly pertaining to underrepresented populations.”

It is not clear how this exhibit is going to promote a conversation on “learning about diversity;” the parallel reference to Harvard is based on the reputation of the institution, which Muhlenberg may not share; assessment measurements are not clear; there is questionable long-term impact.

Red Dot

#44 Posse Foundation Bridge & Scholarship Program

This initiative proposes that Muhlenberg join the Posse Foundation Bridge program.

The costs of this program (as far as goal 4 is concerned) outweigh the benefits, particularly since Muhlenberg has an Emerging Leaders program that can benefit from expansion rather than embarking on a new program.


This subcommittee did not evaluate the following initiative because it seems more closely aligned with other goals:

  • #30 HYPE