Lighting the Path

In 2005, the Board of Trustees adopted a statement articulating the goal of “creating a dynamically diverse community.” That same year, President Emeritus David Oxtoby convened the President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity (PACD) with a two-fold charge: to review and monitor, quantitatively, the diversity of the Pomona faculty, staff and students, and to propose new approaches to increasing diversity in all areas and ways of strengthening the sense of community on campus for all groups.

This focus on diversity continued in our 2007 Strategic Plan, our 2015 strategic plan on diversity, “Lighting the Path to 2025,” and actions the College has taken every year to meet the goals of creating a dynamically diverse and supportive campus community.

Access & Inclusion

Our guiding principle on the admissions and financial aid process is to develop a campus community that includes the fullest possible range of diverse perspectives and backgrounds essential to a rigorous learning environment.

Key Strategies


  • Sustain and expand admissions recruiting efforts of underrepresented students domestically, including the addition of another Posse (STEM-focused from Miami
  • Sustain and expand admissions recruiting efforts internationally
  • Develop relationships with local community colleges
  • Maintain Pomona's commitment to need-blind financial aid


  • Explore and support post-doctoral programs that enhance faculty diversity across the College.
  • Leverage the TOP hiring process to introduce more flexibility with regard to faculty hires that further Pomona’s commitment to diversity.
  • Address diversity at the point of position creation.
  • Develop and support aggressive and effective search and recruitment procedures, resources, and structures


  • Prioritize search firms and consultants with a demonstrated record of success in shaping diverse candidate pools.
  • Ensure the consistent use of best practices in tapping exceptional talent from local and national pools.
  • Develop strong and consistent processes and structures for staff development and a culture that facilitates staff promotion within the College.
  • Ensure training for managers and staff to promote job satisfaction, hiring, and retention.

Climate & Community

Pomona strives to create healthy environments in which individuals feel welcomed, respected, valued, supported, and fully able to achieve and contribute.

Key Strategies

Culture of dignity and respect

  • Promote social spaces of interaction between faculty, staff, and students. Continue and support programs such as the Staff Council-Faculty Executive Committee lunch series.

Support resources/mentoring

  • Provide for necessary staffing and coordination of support for Pomona’s White House commitments and other academic initiatives.
  • Ensure viability and success of POSSE, HHMI summer bridge, and other matriculation/support programs.
  • Ensure viability and success of Qualitative Skills Center, Writing Center, and other academic support services and structures.
  • Ensure viability and effectiveness of Pomona/5C resource centers.

Campus life and accessibility

  • Support Pomona College annual Community Building program (Student Affairs-led development of student leaders, with particular attention to facilitating difficult dialogues and identity development).
  • Promote College sporting, academic, and artistic events among the wider Pomona Valley community.
  • Understand the environment for ADA and disability challenges on our campus, and articulate a strategy for ensuring accessibility and support for all members of a thriving community.
  • Continue efforts, such as the spring 2014 faculty-led work/life balance study.

Professional development

  • New leadership conference for senior staff (launched April 2014).

Scholarship & Learning

A diverse student body and diverse curriculum offer Pomona students unique and important opportunities for intellectual, emotional and ethical growth. Pomona wants to prepare students for lives of leadership, achievement and fulfillment in a pluralistic democracy.

Key Strategies

Curriculum & co-curricular

  • Develop and incentivize effective faculty advising.
  • Prioritize hiring of faculty who can increase our interdisciplinary offerings and bridge across departments.
  • Establishment of the Office of International Initiatives.
  • Promote Community Partnership (CP) curriculum and other initiatives supported by Draper Center.
  • Strengthen and promote courses that focus on diversity issues such as the current DDP courses, and our intercollegiate ethnic studies programs.

Student learning

  • Expand Community Building programs and activities (Student Affairs).
  • Create spaces where diversity enhances creativity and innovation in the Liberal Arts.
  • Ensure that our staffing, structures, and programs are appropriate to the goal of student success and achievement.
  • Inventory and assess High Impact Practices at the College: Study Abroad, internships, research with faculty, Draper initiatives, etc.

Faculty development

  • Expand opportunities for coordinated faculty development around inclusive pedagogies/classrooms (e.g., TLC events, Draper initiatives, etc.).
  • Diversity in the Major Initiative and design of inclusive classrooms (Dean’s Office).
  • Faculty advising workshops; development through POSSE and holistic advising.

Academic achievement

  • Continue to provide academic support services and structures (various).
  • Support student mentors by developing training programs focused on interactions with a diverse student population.

Institutional Commitment & Capacity

As an institution, Pomona strives to develop the capacity of the College to leverage diversity as a critical resource in accomplishing its mission.

Key Strategies

Perceptions of Pomona as welcoming and supportive

  • Expand the College’s relationship with media outlets that connect with diverse audiences, including non-English speaking communities.
  • Expand strategies for engaging increasingly diverse alumni.

Alignment of policies and practices with diversity work

  • Identify and implement appropriate mechanisms for encouraging and rewarding contributions to Pomona’s diversity goals.

Analytical capacity and planning

  • Strengthen capacity to meaningfully assess progress on diversity goals (e.g., diversity benchmarks, embedding assessments in diversity initiatives, etc.)
  • Encourage departmental ownership and continuous refinement of diversity goals and practices (e.g., via robust planning and assessment practices).