Affirmative Action Office records
About the records
This collection consists of the records pertaining to the founding of the Affirmative Action program at Connecticut College, including planning research and documentation; committee agendas, minutes, and notes; correspondence; and investigation files. The inclusive date range includes the creation date of some material gathered for historical context which predates the Office's establishment in 1986.
- 1967 - 2009
- Ames, Oakes, 1931- (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Open for research except for 'Investigation files' (box 3) which are restricted by statute and college policy.
The Affirmative Action program at Connecticut College was organized in 1986 to provide leadership, guidance, and support to College diversity initiatives and to ensure compliance with policies relating to discrimination, harassment, and affirmative action in faculty and staff hiring. It was initially established in response to a student protest that sought to draw administrative attention to issues of diversity and inclusion on campus.
On May 1, 1986, 54 students staged a peaceful occupation of Fanning Hall, Connecticut College's Administration building. Frustrated with what a number of students felt was a lack of progress to diversify the campus culture, the goal in occupying the building was to have the administration set specific targets and clear timetables for the establishment of an educational program concerned with minority issues, culture, and the further development of minorityeducational opportunities at Connecticut College, as well as the allocation of additional funding and support for multicultural programs, students, and staff, and the development of an Affirmative Action plan by the end of 1986 (Report of the Minority Affairs Committee, 1987).
Judith Kirmmse's article "The Path To Unity: On Becoming a Community that Mirrors the World Outside" (Connecticut College Magazine, Spring 1997) explains the course of action that resulted from the demonstration: "Out of this process students created a new committee - the Minority Student Steering Committee (MSSC) - to monitor the administration's progress [. . .] A committee began writing the affirmative action plan; in 1987 the College hired an affirmative action officer; racism awareness workshops began that year and continued through 1994, reaching more than 200 faculty and staff; and the admissions office increased its efforts to enroll students of color."
Judith Kirmmse served as the first Affirmative Action Officer from 1987 until her retirement in 2015. In 2015, the Affirmative Action Office was absorbed into the Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion division, which includes the Dean of Multicultural Affairs, the Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion, and the Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life.
1.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes)
Language of Materials
Correspondence, committee minutes, planning documents and notes for the Affirmative Action Office, 1967-2009.
Organized chronologically in a single series.
- Guide to the Affirmative Action Office records
- Rebecca Parmer
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2019: Revised and migrated into ArchivesSpace by Denise Bonilla, student assistant.