HMC to Spend $750,000 in Grants on Core, Diversity Programs

Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe watches students gives speeches during a walkout and demonstration on March 30, 2017. (Liam Brooks • The Student Life)

Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe has received two large grants this semester – $500,000 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s 2017 Academic Leadership Award and $250,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Presidential Leadership Program.

The college announced on Oct. 31 that the Mellon Foundation grant will “accelerate efforts to increase racial and gender diversity among the faculty and to review and potentially revise the Core Curriculum” over the course of four years. Though Klawe told TSL in a previous interview that the Carnegie Corporation's grant will be used to support diversity and inclusivity initiatives on campus – as required by the award – no programs have been specified.

“President Klawe is still consulting various campus constituencies, including faculty and student leadership, about the disposition of the Carnegie funds,” Dean of the Faculty Lisa Sullivan wrote in an email to TSL. “Her announcement indicated that she would direct those funds in the main to support diversity and inclusiveness initiatives on campus, but to my knowledge she has made no final decisions about specific allocations.”

HMC Chief Communications Officer Timothy Hussey confirmed that the Carnegie funding announcement “should be ready for release sometime next week.”

Klawe was unavailable for comment.

Sullivan provided more details on the two initiatives the Mellon grant will support.

“A large component of the Core-facing part of the award will support a strategic planning exercise early in the spring term that will unite students, faculty staff, and alums around the external review and self-study to think about how best to move forward,” Sullivan wrote.

Efforts to evaluate the Core curriculum were invigorated in the wake of the leaked Wabash report, which sparked student protests and class cancellations last spring.

“The other component of the [Mellon] grant will allow us to increase our visibility and, we hope, our recruitment efforts among young scholars from populations underrepresented in STEM.”

She included examples of such publicity efforts, such as reaching out to doctorate-granting institutions.

Sullivan added that the Mellon grant may also fund specific curricular initiatives, such as student work over the summer, that emerge from the strategic planning exercise.

“The other component of the [Mellon] grant will allow us to increase our visibility and, we hope, our recruitment efforts among young scholars from populations underrepresented in STEM,” Sullivan wrote.

Among the potential initiatives, Mudd students have demanded increased funding for diversity-related student groups.

“The funding should cover costs that go into providing the necessary training and time/money spent to create solid programs and events for organizations to maximize their potential influence on campus,” Jenny Lee HM ‘19 wrote in a message to TSL.