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Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
84 Alford Road
Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230
(413) 528-7228
Email address
School Information
"In 1966 Elizabeth Blodgett Hall founded Simon’s Rock based on the belief that many bright, motivated young people are ready for serious intellectual work at the age of 16 or 17. Simon’s Rock (named for a glacial rock formation on the family land that would become the Simon’s Rock campus) opened in the fall of 1966 as a women’s school offering its students a four-year program that combined the last two years of high school and the first two years of college—concluding with an associate of arts (AA) degree. In 1970—the same year Simon’s Rock graduated its inaugural class—the school became a coeducational campus, and by 1974, the high school component was eliminated. Through the support from the National Science Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation, the College developed its bachelor of arts (BA) program. With the introduction of its first BA concentrations, Simon’s Rock became what it has remained ever since: A four-year college of the liberal arts and sciences designed expressly to educate young, bright, motivated scholars" (Source: The student to faculty ratio is 6 to 1. The total enrollment is nearly 400. The total undergraduate degrees offered is 64, with 41 majors in 17 fields of study.
General Information
Bard is in the process of developing a required course on anti-racism for all students. The college currently requires anti-racism training for all faculty and staff. Bard has promised to "train anti-racism leaders" and currently requires "cultural competency" training for all students, faculty, and staff. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • Bard's Office of Equity and Inclusion states that it is "committed to expanding the reach and access to voices of underrepresented and marginalized individuals while building a community that recognizes and supports a community of cultural understanding, social justice, and community engagement."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • As part of the Bard GPS Anti-Racism, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commitment, Bard promises to "train anti-racist leaders."
  • As part of the Bard College at Simon’s Rock Strategic Priorities, Bard conducts "annual trainings in cultural competency for new and returning students, faculty, and staff."
  • The Office of Equity and Inclusion defines culture at Bard as the "collective effort to increase diversity through recruitment and training, and ongoing discussions from leaders around training and development in areas of cultural competency and sensitivity." Additionally the Office defines the word sustainability as follows: "Passive and active programs, training, and experiences that happen regularly to increase awareness around social issues, social change, and social justice."
  • The Council for Inclusive Community at Bard is "committed to providing workshops and events within our community that will address a variety of social issues, including — but not limited to — social movements and solidarity with social change organizations, race and cultural sensitivity, LGBTQIA2S+ resources and programming, anti-racism and social justice...."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The Bard GPS Anti-Racism and Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Roadmap promises to "design a curriculum that develops the knowledge, skills, and mindset to contribute to a more just world with a focus on anti-racism."
  • Bard is in the process of developing a required student prerequisite anti-racism course.
  • The African American and African Studies curriculum requires students to take the Critical Race Theory "methods" course.
Disciplinary Measures
  • The Bias Response Team outlines its bias incident protocols and states, "For purposes of this Policy, the term Bias Incident includes conduct constituting a Hate Crime, as defined in the Equity and Title IX Policy."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • Bard plans to "develop required faculty and staff trainings" for anti-racism.
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • The Bard GPS Anti-Racism and Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Roadmap promises to "influence leaders in our internal and external communities to address racial inequity and racism in their organizations specifically, and systemic racism and white supremacy more broadly."
  • Bard College libraries provide "Black Lives Matter Solidarity Resources" and state, "This guide assumes a commitment to the statement that Black Lives Matter--this is not up for debate."
Program and Research Funding
  • The Office of Equity and Inclusion offers numerous scholarships and scholars programs for diverse students.
  • The Gender Studies academic field at Bard involves a study of critical race theory.
  • The Gender Studies concentration at Bard is an "interdisciplinary program for students who wish to explore the complex questions raised by the intersecting analyses of feminist, queer, postcolonial, and critical race theory across academic fields..." 
  • Bard's Contemporary Critical Theory concentration includes a core course titled "African American Studies 302 Critical Race Theory."
  • The library has compiled a list of anti-racism resources, which includes "How to Be an Anti-Racist" by Ibram X. Kendi.
  • In Summer 2021, Bard created an Anti-Racism and JEDI Advisory Board.
  • Bard annually holds the Symposium on Social Justice and Inclusion.
  • The Center for Equity, Inclusion and Community was established in the Fall of 2022 "with a particular focus on our students of color and affinity student organizations."
Symbolic Actions
  • Bard's president released a statement on May 31, 2020 responding to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor by saying, "On behalf of the entire Bard College community, I want to express our solidarity with all who grieve for the deaths, with all who live in constant fear of the brutality of racial discrimination, and with all who find themselves without hope in these dark and violent times."
Last updated May 14th, 2024
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