A group of students poses for a photo after planting trees in the arboretum

The IDE plan touches the learning, living, and working experience of all members of the Carleton community, and almost every aspect of the college’s functions and activities. The IDE Plan Steering Committee believes the plan has the potential to improve the institutional experience of all community members and to advance Carleton’s aspirations to be an inclusive, diverse, and equitable institution in ways that are concrete and measurable.

The taxonomy we have employed in the plan itself moves from five high-level goals to three to four specific objectives that amplify different aspects of those goals, and then on to five to eight more specific strategies that will enable the college to meet the objectives (and, through them, the goals).

The plan provides clarity about the responsible parties for each strategy, an estimated timetable for implementation of the strategy, and the metrics that will be used to determine the effectiveness of the strategy. The strategies are written in such a way as to allow Carleton’s governance and administrative structures the freedom to execute them in ways that align with our current resources and personnel, including changing timelines to be more appropriate when needed. At the same time, the plan advises that we consider new structures and programs that will build capacity for any activities and initiatives that emerge as a result of recommended strategies.

The Committee recognizes that for years, many community members have taken on the additional, and often unrecognized, labor of educating others in our community about IDE-related issues; the plan therefore recommends that the college consider how to more equitably share IDE-related responsibilities and account for IDE-related work. This plan provides room and support for the development of new strategies that will come about over the course of the next decade, as the principles we describe above become central to all college operations.

In creating this IDE plan, one of the challenges has been to establish durable goals that would carry the college forward for the next 10 years. Given the ever-changing landscape of IDE work, research, and issues, we have tried to articulate our goals, objectives, and strategies in plain, broadly understood language. For this reason, while in some places we do name specific identity groups, we have utilized in most places the term “historically underrepresented” as a descriptor. For the purposes of statistical data comparison, we have used the federal nomenclature of URM (underrepresented minority; see list of acronyms). Finally, as a special point of clarification, this work is data-driven and outcome-based and intends to ensure all can access the best of Carleton.

A final consideration in creating this plan lies in the fact that our campus is already highly engaged in IDE work, and many different offices, departments, and programs have been moving forward with their own IDE initiatives and activities. We applaud these efforts, and we have done our best to create a framework within which those efforts can be aligned with and acknowledged through the overall IDE plan. Furthermore, this initial IDE plan is focused primarily on the on-campus experience of our community members. We realize that Carleton is situated within the context of Northfield and its environs, and we affirm the need for the college to continue its efforts to support and include this larger community in our work to create a living, learning, and working environment where people have the chance to thrive. We seek to honor the equitable and inclusive principles described above through our interactions with other institutions, offices, and businesses and to build upon our current strengths as a vital part of our broader community.


When the IDE plan is approved by the Board of Trustees, the work of the Committee will be complete and the work of the entire Carleton community will begin. The administration, along with the responsible parties identified within each strategy, will be responsible for ensuring the plan is implemented.

The community feedback and input gathered throughout the IDE planning process will be passed on to those parties to aid in the implementation. In addition, it is our hope that implementation will involve more feedback and involvement from all members of the community.

The IDE Plan: Goals, Objectives, and Strategies

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