Over the past year, as national attention has been drawn to racism in the United States, we have been thinking about the many things we can do as scholars, mentors, and Clark community members to be more explicit about how we center racial equity and other aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work in our endeavors.
Consistent with Clark University’s commitment to anti-discrimination and freedom of expression, we commit ourselves to the following:
- We endorse the American Political Science Association’s (APSA) Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and we encourage students to familiarize themselves with the steps the discipline of political science is taking to address these matters.
- We believe that the study of race, racial and ethnic conflict, and systemic patterns of racism, discrimination, and other forms of marginalization are central to the study of political science. We continuously reevaluate our own syllabi and teaching to ensure that we acquaint students and ourselves with salient issues related to race and politics, and to foster open discussion on different theories of the roles race, ethnicity, class, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity play in politics.
- As part of our 2019-20 self-study, our department began collecting and evaluating data on the race/ethnicity and gender of political science majors, political science minors, and departmental award recipients in order to ensure that our curriculum attracts a student body that is representative of the university as a whole in its diversity and that all students have an equal opportunity to thrive. We will continue to explore these data and share them with interested parties.
- Many of our faculty are engaged in efforts to combat racism, racial bias, or other forms of discrimination at Clark and in our community. These include, for instance, faculty committee work, public scholarship, work with students in the Worcester Public Schools, and work at the national level to increase diversity in the discipline of political science. We will take such work into account in faculty promotion and evaluation decisions.
- We continue to work to recruit BIPOC job applicants, to advertise job positions in publications with a diverse readership, and to give extra consideration to search requests in areas of political science that attract a diverse group of scholars.
- Decisions about financial aid are properly made at the university level. However, our department offers a variety of sources of financial support to students, including work/study positions, teaching and research assistantships, and summer research support for student projects. We will seek to ensure that we distribute these sources of support in an equitable fashion and encourage all students to apply for them.
- We work to connect our students with external internships and graduate training programs, to make a special effort to encourage BIPOC students to apply for these programs, and to expand our efforts to identify programs aimed at supporting undergraduate students of color.
- Effective in the 2021-22 academic year, we plan to establish a faculty/student committee to explore ways to improve the climate among political science students, to ensure that students’ views on matters related to diversity, equity, and inclusion are heard by faculty, and to communicate about departmental decisions in a manner that encourages dialogue and open discussion.
— Last updated on June 3, 2021