In an email sent to students Wednesday morning, the Dean of Students Office (DOS) outlined its plan to improve the Black student experience at Northwestern. In December 2016, a task force consisting of students, faculty and staff presented their findings and recommendations to University leaders, who took that information and prioritized three main goals for the future, the email said.
The three main priorities are to increase the number of Black students, faculty and staff at Northwestern; to create an academic support hub on campus (which was part of a broader recommendation from 2015-2016 Student Demands, which can be read in full here, and a separate undergraduate experience task force); and to make a more concerted effort to listen to Black students consistently instead of just in times of crisis. To achieve these goals, the University has created three steering committees overseen by administrators including Vice President of Student Affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin and Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Jabbar R. Bennett. Each committee will house faculty members from various departments, and the DOS encouraged each academic department to identify ways in which it could contribute to the committees' overall goals.
The committees will start meeting during the 2017-2018 academic year to strategize and move forward with implementation. Furthermore, they will work with ASG starting next year to select student representatives and get more direct student input.