Vow to Act

 1st Annual Report - Published Jan. 27th, 2022

The Department of Government's Vow to Act requires that we hold ourselves accountable and publicly report on our progress annually for the next five years. The Vow was published online in July of 2020 and it was implemented beginning in the fall term 2020. This is the first of five annual reports that audit the Department's progress on the items in the Vow to Act. This report summarizes how the Department enacted or failed to enact the items in the Vow to Act between September 2020 and January 2022.

Read the full report here!

What is the Vow to Act? 

Department of Government

Dartmouth College 
 
The Department of Government joins our students, colleagues, and global community in the fight for racial justice. Political scientists have long examined the linkages between race, power, governance, and injustice, and faculty in the department are dedicated to advancing research in these areas. We recognize that we, as a profession and as a predominantly white department, need to do more to create an environment where everyone can thrive. The Department of Government is committed to building a welcoming environment in which we can learn together about race and racism. We vow to undertake measures to change our own behavior, to ensure that we provide opportunities to study race and racism in our curriculum, and to provide intellectual resources that expand opportunities to learn about the extent to which racism structures the political world. To that end, we commit to the following: 
 
1. We will create new opportunities to listen to, and learn from, our students and colleagues. 
 
2. We will deepen our commitment to diversity and inclusion within the department. 
 
3. We will offer additional courses that engage with these issues, and adjust existing courses to promote inclusion. 
 
4. We will hold ourselves accountable by setting deadlines and publicly reporting on our progress.  
 
 
Specific Commitments 

The Government Department makes the following commitments to our students, colleagues, and staff: 
 
1. We will create new opportunities to listen to, and learn from, our students and colleagues. 

  •  In the 2020-2021 academic year, we will convene three facultymoderated conversations with Dartmouth students and alumni about their personal experiences with racial injustice and efforts to promote justice. We hope to use these conversations as a starting point for increasing communication about race and racism.    
    • Fall: "Protesting for Racial Justice: Dartmouth Students on the Front Lines"  
    • Winter: "Learning About Racial Justice: Students and Faculty Discuss the Classroom Experience"  
    • Spring: "Working for Racial Justice: Government Department Alumni Talk about Careers in Social Justice"
  • We will explore ways to review student experiences in the Government Department beyond teaching evaluations. 
  • We will engage other departments and programs in public conversations about race and racism.
  • We will encourage faculty to consult sources such as People of Color Also Know Stuff when inviting people to participate in our speaker series, organizing panels, and recommending colleagues for awards and leadership positions. 

 
2. We will deepen our commitment to diversity and inclusion within the department.

  • We will review our hiring practices and redouble our efforts to diversify the faculty. We will continue to discuss how we can build a more diverse applicant pool and promote faculty diversity.
  • We will nominate students for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Program, the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, and the Society for Political Methodology's Undergraduate Initiative in Political Methodology.
  • Every fall, we will contact student organizations, especially those representing underrepresented groups, with an offer to send a member of the Government Department to their meetings.  Our goal in these meetings will be to learn more about student concerns and to explore possible connections with the Government Department and with student programs linked to the department.
  • We will learn more about Dartmouth's Employee Resource Networks that support faculty and staff from underrepresented groups. 
  • We will pause the conversation when someone's words evoke racist and/or sexist ideas, and we will address those comments appropriately.
  • We will establish two student research fellowships for the study of race and racism. These fellowships, which will begin in either Winter or Spring 2021, will take the form of independent studies under the supervision of a faculty adviser.
  • We will create paid research assistantships to support students working with faculty members on research projects related to race and racism.
  • We will strengthen Dartmouth's exchange programs with Spelman College and Morehouse College by inviting researchers from these institutions to give talks here and offering to give research talks at these institutions, as well as other Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
  • We will attend receptions for underrepresented minorities at professional conferences and send at least one faculty member to the National Conference of Black Political Scientists to learn from black political scientists and build professional networks. 

 
3. We will offer additional courses that engage with these issues, and adjust existing courses to promote inclusion. 

  • We will identify classes and faculty and student research related to race and racism on our website.
  • We will expand content relevant to race and racism in our existing curriculum.
  • We will offer new courses that explore race and racism.
  • We will consult resources available from the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL), Student Accessibility Services (SAS), and the American Political Science Association (APSA) to structure our courses, syllabi, class meetings, and conversations in ways that invite engagement and foster inclusion. 
  • We will introduce a new Government Department research group focusing on race and ethnicity. 

 
4. We will hold ourselves accountable by setting deadlines and publicly reporting on our progress. 

  • For the next five years, we will produce an annual report outlining the Government Department's actions relating to the commitments listed above.  
  • We will publicly report on our progress.
  • We will engage our students in developing additional mechanisms of accountability.