On December 15th, the Working Group released an update that detailed a conference call they held that day. The update stated that the Working Group would be searching for an outside consultant to visit campus in mid-January to meet with students, faculty, and staff. The email is as follows:

Dear St. Olaf Community,

The St. Olaf Working Group on Equity and Inclusion held a conference call meeting on December 15. In addition to meeting in person each month, the group has agreed to hold a weekly conference call in order to keep this important work moving forward.

On this call, members provided several important updates:

Consultant Search
Bruce King and Donna Lee have been working to identify a consultant to assist the Working Group. They have narrowed the list, and all Working Group members agreed to move forward with retaining the consultant that Bruce and Donna recommended. Bruce and Donna will continue making arrangements, and it’s expected that the consultant selected will visit campus in mid-January to meet with students, faculty, and staff. The Working Group will provide more information on the consultant as soon as these arrangements have been finalized.

Student Research on Racial Microaggressions in the Classroom and Curriculum
Katie Fick, Phil Milne, and Bruce King shared what they learned at a student research presentation on December 13 titled Racial Microaggressions in the Classroom and Curriculum: Student Experiences and Perspectives. Students in Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Ryan Sheppard’s class conducted research on racial microaggressions in the classroom throughout the course of the semester on behalf of the To Include is To Excel initiative. The student researchers examined survey responses from more than 700 St. Olaf students and outlined a number of key takeaways. Katie, Phil, and Bruce all agreed that the information presented was insightful, powerful, and will be useful for the Working Group to examine and consider as it moves forward. They have requested all the presentation information to share with other members of the Working Group. On behalf of the entire Working Group, they offer their thanks to the faculty directors of the To Include is To Excel project, Mary Carlsen and Maggie Broner, for the invitation to the research presentation, and their congratulations to Ryan Sheppard and her students on their excellent work.

The Working Group’s next meeting will be another conference call on Friday, December 22. As always, we are grateful for the commitment of every member of the group and the time they continue to invest each day in this important work. We are also grateful for the support we have received from the St. Olaf community, and we look forward to continuing to hear from and work with you.

Respectfully submitted,

Glenn Taylor ’73 and Phil Milne ’81
Chairs, Working Group on Equity and Inclusion