Specific and actionable recommendations cultivating a more diverse, inclusive and equitable community
Institutions everywhere contend with bias, inequity, history, and racism. While The Citadel today focuses on its core values Honor, Duty and Respect, we are not immune to these factors’ impact.
The Citadel is committed to understanding our history, treating everyone in The Citadel family with dignity and respect in word and action, and setting conditions producing our End State.
We shall always strive to reflect our core values, and this Task Force is a means to assist in this regard.
These guiding principles and additional specificity built from the Task Force Charter.
Task #1: Evaluate the status of recommendations from 2016’s Task Force for Advancing The Citadel’s Commitment to Diversity and Education.
Learning organization’s benefit from objective and subjective analysis of performance. In 2016, the previous Task Force addressing these issues developed twenty-two recommendations in three broad categories (Admissions, Campus Life, and Curriculum). Associated actions, and their overall impact, are to be reviewed and analyzed by The President’s Task Force on Race, Diversity and Inclusion (RDI TF).
Guidance for Task #1 includes evaluation of progress regarding the 2016 recommendations, and as needed, refinements, additions, and deletions of the same.
Task #2: Inventory and research the history of named programs, buildings and roads.
In an effort to understand the full lives and efforts of those with named spaces on our campus, committee two is expanding beyond what we already know of these individuals, to present a more complete picture. This information will be used to provide further insight to the administration, members of the SCCC, employees and other stakeholders. This work will serve as a template for research and information as we continue to have named entities on The Citadel’s campus.
Task #3: Identify and recommend opportunities to celebrate and recognize achievements of minority and women alumni, faculty and staff, and other persons whose extraordinary accomplishments The Citadel can celebrate, particularly with regard to democratic ideals enshrined in the nation’s founding documents.
Many programs, campus buildings, and roads are named for figures from Citadel, South Carolina, and American history, dating to the Revolutionary War. “Common knowledge” on many of these figures is sometimes inaccurate, incomplete, nonexistent. Many in The Citadel family may know little of the namesakes’ lives and place in history. Further, such common knowledge sometimes focuses on a single act or single part of a life.
The same may be said for anyone The Citadel may consider for future acknowledgement, as delineated in Task #3.
This limited understanding of namesakes and potential future individuals to be recognized means current and subsequent discussion begin with incomplete and/or inaccurate data. Therefore, any actions taken would be made with insufficient information.
Objectively, all parties can use thoroughly researched data to understand who these people were in their entirety. Factual data allows The Citadel to begin coherent discussions and make rational decisions on addressing these namesakes and their histories.
Guidance for the RDI TF when undertaking study of these figures is the collection of unbiased information, inclusive of the namesake’s full life.
The Citadel’s integration of African Americans and women in the Corps of Cadets occurred in the last 53 and 23 years respectively. This legacy is not without controversy and failure — it also is replete with stories of perseverance, achievement, and triumph, both for individuals and the institution. This history, those who made it, and the narratives surrounding each shall guide our End State.
Many individuals come to mind whose achievements are worthy of celebration. As with our legacy campus namesakes, their histories are complex, and cannot be defined in a single thought. The same impartiality applied to legacy namesakes shall be applied to those we consider celebrating.
Guidance for the RDI TF regarding Task #3 mirrors Task #2 when considering minorities and women to be recognized. A complimentary effort recommending ways and means (including the naming of campus buildings or other features) of such recognition is also directed.
The guiding principles described here do not limit the RDI TF from recommending other initiatives or thoughts on these topics. The Citadel relies on the wealth of knowledge and experience the Task Force brings to take the study of these topics in appropriate directions.