Why Diversity?

Prof. Darryl Yong and Sumi Pendakur have crafted a living document that speaks to the multifaceted direction we aim to take our inclusive excellence efforts.  The questions of diversity and equity impact all corners of the institution, from one-to-one interactions to campus climate, curriculum, and pedagogy.

How does diversity relate to Harvey Mudd College’s educational goals?

  • Make Harvey Mudd College more welcoming and attractive to all students by improving campus climate, broadening participation, enhancing recruitment
  • Embed critical pedagogies and opportunities for engaged interaction in the curriculum and co-curriculum

We strive to attract exemplary students from around the world to come to HMC. Many of these talented students are women, African American, Latino or Hispanic, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities. Some of them, for a variety of reasons, choose to attend other colleges and universities.

Diversity benefits the entire campus: learning with and from people from a variety of backgrounds fosters innovation and encourages collaboration and perspective taking.

How does diversity relate to producing students who will “assume leadership in their fields”?

  • Continue/expand efforts to help students deepen awareness, understand difference, and reduce bias
  • More training and opportunities for student leadership

Globalization and immigration patterns have increased and will continue to increase the likelihood that our students will need to work with colleagues and clients with different identities and lived experiences. To be effective leaders, our students need to know how to work well with people who are different from them. They must also be aware of their own biases and know how to mitigate them.

Effective leaders manage and participate in teams. A team made up of people with diverse viewpoints can be more innovative and effective than a team of people who all think alike, if its leader knows how to cultivate and manage a diversity of ideas.

How does diversity relate to Harvey Mudd College becoming a leader in its field?

  • Strive for “unsurpassed excellence and diversity at all levels” by building institutional capacity for diversity, expanding access through outreach programs, improving campus climate, gathering data and best practices, reducing performance gaps without sacrificing standards of excellence

STEM-focused, higher education institutions have long struggled with underrepresentation, especially of women, African American, Latino or Hispanic, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native American individuals in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields. This challenge is an opportunity for HMC to lead the way by showing how to broaden participation and expand the pipeline while maintaining our high standards and performance.

Harvey Mudd College’s credibility and visibility increase when we share our successful programs, pedagogies, and institutional practices with the general public, other academic institutions, and industry partners.

Many high-tech firms are hungry for talented women, African American, Latino or Hispanic, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native American individuals. By producing more underrepresented talent, we will increase our standing in industry.

How does diversity relate to producing students with “a clear understanding of the impact of their work on society”?

  • Programming or courses to help students develop a social-change mindset and to situate their work in societal contexts such as access, bias, and power

To have a clear understanding of one’s work on society, one must, among other things, understand how injustice and discrimination have shaped society. Many Harvey Mudd students will go on to work in STEM fields, which have historically lagged other fields of study in access and representation.

Our mission statement compels us to produce engaged, civic-minded students who are guided by a sense of personal responsibility to have a positive impact on society. Students with a social justice orientation can positively impact society by identifying discrimination, reversing underrepresentation, and challenging the status quo in the fields in which they will lead.

How does diversity relate to HMC understanding the impact of its work on society?

The Harvey Mudd community must recognize that discrimination and underrepresentation have plagued higher education for decades and act in ways that acknowledge these problems and help to fix them, when possible. Harvey Mudd can lead the way for others.