Muhlenberg College Statement on Diversity


(rev. 3/25/06)

The following statement attempts to describe the meaning and importance of diversity as an aspect of Muhlenberg's mission. It was drafted by President Helm in consultation with faculty of color and other faculty and campus leaders including: Charles Anderson, Janine Chi, Steve Coutinho, Margaret Dodson, Ethel Drayton-Craig, Mohsin Hashim, Marjorie Hass, Tomoe Kanaya, Cathy Kim, Trevor Knox, Susan Schwartz, Jeremy Teissere,and Margaret Tsao during the fall 2005 semester.  In January 2006 a draft was shared with the Muhlenberg community for comment.  This final draft incorporates many of the suggestions received from faculty, students, staff, alumni, and others. 

Muhlenberg College aims to develop independent critical thinkers who are intellectually agile, characterized by a zest for reasoned and civil debate, knowledgeable about the achievements and traditions of diverse civilizations and cultures, able to express ideas with clarity and grace, committed to life-long learning, equipped with ethical and civic values, and prepared for lives of leadership and service. The College is committed to providing an intellectually rigorous undergraduate education within the context of a supportive, diverse residential community….From the Muhlenberg College Mission Statement

Muhlenberg College believes that diversity, in many forms and expressions, is essential to its educational mission and to its success as a community. We believe that a broad range of human perspectives, experiences, backgrounds, and opinions enriches the academic experience, stimulates intellectual rigor, enhances the quality of life on campus, and prepares our graduates for lives of leadership and service in a democratic, pluralistic society and a diverse world.  We believe that our academic program is not able to achieve the goals set in our mission statement unless each member of the community recognizes and understands the benefits, conflicts, tensions, and intersections that are inherent in diversity. Diversity is, therefore, a fundamental Muhlenberg value.  To that end, we assume the responsibility of providing educational opportunities to students of talent and potential and professional opportunities to talented faculty and staff representing many different backgrounds and experiences.  This reflects our College’s commitment to principles of justice, equality, and democracy.

The College has already achieved an admirable degree of diversity in several important respects, such as religion, intellectual pursuits, socio-economic background, and sexual orientation. We recognize that these successes must not lead to complacency, but inspire us to continued effort.  Muhlenberg must recommit itself with renewed energy to recruiting and retaining diverse students, faculty, and staff whose range of viewpoints, cultural perspectives, race, ethnicity, sexual orientations, gender identities, lifestyles, interests, political beliefs, nationalities, economic backgrounds, physical abilities, and religious and spiritual values will enrich our curriculum and campus life. We must also commit ourselves to persistent and vigorous efforts to confront, and challenge prejudiced attitudes and behaviors that exclude, demean, or marginalize members of our community by breaking down existing barriers that prevent meaningful discussions about diversity. Finally, Muhlenberg College also commits itself to good citizenship in the wider, local community by supporting with our business those vendors and services that are operated by and fairly employ underrepresented groups.

For Muhlenberg policies on discriminatory harassment and non-discrimination see:


Student Policy and Information Guide:
http://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/aboutus/deanst/studentguide.pdf#discrimination

Trustee Handbook for Faculty:
http://www.muhlenberg.edu/pdf/main/aboutus/provost/handbook/faculty_handbook.pdf

Manager’s Handbook:
http://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/aboutus/hr/manager/4.3.html
http://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/aboutus/hr/manager/3.1.html#3111

Support Staff Handbook:
http://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/aboutus/hr/staff/preface1.html
http://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/aboutus/hr/staff/7.5.html