Equity & Inclusion
Hearts. Minds. Systems. That’s what we get to work on in the Office for Equity and Inclusion. Through individual and community engagement, we reach hearts. Through inclusive education and programming, we nourish minds. Through institutional change and collaborations across the college, we realign systems. All of this is in the service of improving and enriching the educational and work experience of everyone at Smith—students, staff and faculty.
A Message from the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
True collaboration, deep learning and transformational scholarship at Smith College call for every student, faculty and staff member to feel a sense of belonging. As Heather McGhee reminds us in The Sum of Us, “racism costs everyone” but by addressing it, “we can prosper together.” Education, reflection and action planning at the departmental level will help us reach our institutional goal of advancing racial justice. This is necessary and important work, and we deepen it together. My team and I in the Office for Equity and Inclusion and collaborators across the college look forward to working with you every step of the way.
—Warmly, Floyd Cheung
With a firm commitment to promoting racial justice, the Smith community is taking concrete steps to build a more just and inclusive academic and work environment at the college. This requires every department and office to reflect on the past, study data from the present, and come up with ways for their unit to move toward a more racially just future.
Our Mission & Commitment
The Office for Equity and Inclusion grounds its work in the college’s mission and sustained commitment to be a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus. We aspire for every member of our community to uphold these principles. To promote a shared understanding across campus, here is our articulation of the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. These principles were created by OEI in collaboration with campus community members and then ratified by the Cabinet. These are by our community and for our community.
Smith College fosters access to knowledge, discovery and communication through research and education, and the creation and sustenance of a community of scholars, students and staff. We can realize these goals only in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The college aspires to create and maintain an educational, working and living environment that respects differences and is free from harassing behavior.
To foster trust and respect in a diverse community, Smith College encourages community members to behave in ways that affirm respect for each other. Within an academic institution, teaching, research and learning are subject to the protections described in the college’s policy on academic freedom. Actions or words used in the context of the academic curriculum and teaching environments that serve legitimate and reasonable educational purposes will not be evaluated as violating policies that bar certain behaviors, sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination.
In a diverse community, disagreements and conflicts, with varying degrees of seriousness, are inevitable. The college strongly encourages informal resolution of disputes and conflicts. Many issues are best resolved by direct communication between the individuals involved, sometimes with the help of a third party. Community members are expected to engage in good faith attempts to mediate their differences. To that end, all members of the Smith community are encouraged to use the deans, academic department chairs, supervisors and the staff members listed on this site to discuss concerns and seek resolution to differences.