On April 25, 1988, President Mary Patterson McPherson established the Affirmative Action Advisory Board with members representing Bryn Mawr faculty, staff, and students. The Board was charged to advise the President on future directions for increasing the effective participation of American minority groups in the life of the College.
In 1989, Joyce Miller became the College’s first Dean of Minority Affairs. Zoila Airall replaced Dean Miller in 1996 and was named Director of Institutional Diversity. In 2002 Cynthia Chalker was appointed Acting Director of Institutional Diversity. With Ms. Chalker’s departure, Hayley Thomas, Assistant Undergraduate Dean, became the Interim Acting Director of Institutional Diversity.
In 1998, President Nancy J. Vickers, created the Diversity Council and several years later charged it with reviewing the work and the composition of the Office of Institutional Diversity and with recommending the future composition of the office.
In the Spring of 2004, President Vickers instituted a distributed model for diversity leadership on campus. The Diversity Leadership Group is responsible for providing strategic advice directly to the President of the College with the goal of making the campus community inclusive and supportive of all students, faculty and staff.
The Diversity Leadership Group is composed of eight members and is convened by the President of the College:
The Director of The Pensby Center advises student cultural organizations and advocates for and supports all student efforts to foster intergroup relationships on campus and to develop programs that address issues of diversity.
The Faculty Diversity Liaison assists academic departments and search committees in their efforts to diversify the faculty. Particular attention is given to broadening each applicant pool and to the recruitment and retention of faculty from underrepresented groups. The Faculty Diversity Liaison also organizes conversations about issues related to the diverse nature of the community that affect faculty in and outside of the classroom.
The Equal Opportunity Officer monitors the College's compliance with state and federal equal-opportunity policies and works with supervisors to increase understanding of how to apply these policies. The EOO works closely with Human Resources and others to initiate training, actions, behaviors and decisions that support equal access, diversity, inclusiveness and equitable treatment.
The Staff Issues Liaison acts as a sounding board for staff members who would like to discuss workplace issues in a confidential, off-the-record environment. The Staff Issues Liaison also assists Human Resources in the interpretation and application of policy and helps staff members find the appropriate resources and forums for resolving their concerns.
The Dean of the Undergraduate College brings the perspective of an office uniquely involved in both the academic and social lives of undergraduate students.
The Dean of Admissions brings a perspectives of the changing undergraduate and graduate populations as they evolve from year to year.
The Executive Director of the Alumnae Association joined the group in 2011, and completes the link between the campus community and the broader College community.
The Diversity Leadership Group convenes the Diversity Council, a representative body of faculty, students, staff, and trustees who are responsible for advising the President on all matters that affect campus diversity, including: The recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff from under represented groups; diversity in the curriculum; and campus climate.