Message to the Bowdoin Community (January 11, 2018)
To the Bowdoin community,
I am delighted to announce that Michael Reed will be joining Bowdoin on March 1 as our new senior vice president for inclusion and diversity. Michael was the unanimous and enthusiastic choice of our search committee in an impressive pool of candidates because of his experience, the quality and results of his work, his understanding of the myriad issues and challenges in working with others to build inclusive and diverse communities, and because of his clear dedication to the liberal arts. He will report to me and will join our senior team at the College, and I very much look forward to welcoming him and his partner, Allison Thorner, to Bowdoin. An announcement now posted on the Bowdoin website provides more information about Michael and his accomplishments.
A word about this new position: as many of you know, its creation was a central recommendation by the faculty, students, staff, and trustees who made up our Ad Hoc Committee on Inclusion. This group worked for much of the 2016-2017 academic year to consider earlier recommendations by Camille Charles (University of Pennsylvania) and Rory Kramer (Villanova University), whom I asked in December 2015 to help us better understand how to make Bowdoin an even more inclusive community. As Michael takes on his new responsibilities, he will work collaboratively with all of us to consider the many aspects of diversity, including race, ethnicity, religion, economic background, first-generation status, gender, sexuality, disability, and differing political perspectives, among other things. He will focus on issues of inclusion and diversity for all parts of our community—students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees—and he will work closely with the many individuals currently engaged in these efforts at the College.
Michael’s appointment is the culmination of excellent work by the members of our search committee—Tim Foster, Mohammad Irfan, Claudia Marroquin ’06, Leash Menard, Osa Omoregie ’18, Roy Partridge, Elizabeth Pritchard, Tama Spoerri, Dharni Vasudevan, and Daisy Wislar ’18—who put in many hours during a busy time of year without an existing blueprint for this position. I am grateful for their efforts and insights, as well as those provided by others who participated in the interview process just before the holidays.
I am also very proud of the strides we have been making at Bowdoin to realize our ambitions for an ever more inclusive and diverse community. While there is more to be done, with Michael’s appointment, we are now well positioned for even greater progress. I am energized about the work ahead with and I look forward to starting the new semester with all of you.