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Simmons University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
300 The Fenway
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
(617) 521-2000
Email address
School Information
"Since its founding in 1899, Simmons’ raison d’etre has been to expand opportunities for women, forging fields that advance equity and justice locally and globally. For more than 100 years, Simmons has put the needs of our students first. Through an education that combines intellectual leadership with professional preparation, we help students lead meaningful lives and build successful careers for the 21st Century" (Source: The student to faculty ratio is 8 to 1 and over 60 majors and programs are offered. The total undergraduate enrollment is approximately 1,700 and the total graduate enrollment is nearly 5,000.
General Information
Simmons University has been promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives for the last few years. Following the death of George Floyd, the university sought to incorporate DEI topics in the core curriculum. Ibram X. Kendi's book, "How to Be an Anti-Racist," was selected as the community read for Spring 2021. All faculty and staff are required to undergo diversity training, and such training is also required of all student leaders. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • On July 7, 2023, Simmons' President issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action which reads in part as follows: "I am deeply disappointed in the Court’s ruling. While it will take time to fully comprehend the decision’s impact on higher education and our institution, please know that Simmons University remains deeply committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging...While the work ahead will be more challenging as a result of today’s decision, we will continue the fight, because we know that we are a stronger, more vibrant community because of the richness of our diversity. The legal landscape, with which we must comply, has changed, but what has not changed is the systematic inequalities that have led us to this point, and which we cannot ignore and will continue to work to address."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • All student leaders are required to undergo DEI training.
  • The Institute for Inclusive Leadership offers courses on "Understanding Implicit Bias," "Igniting change for equity & inclusion," and "Diversity, equity & inclusion as leadership competencies."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Organizations" is a required course for the Leadership for Social Impact minor.
  • As part of the Simmons PLAN (Purpose Leadership ActioN) four-year academic pathway for undergraduates, "diversity, equity, and inclusion is woven into the PLAN curriculum so that students can learn how to lead inclusively...."
Disciplinary Measures
  • Simmons' Restoration Protocol establishes a procedure for reporting potential incidents of bias, microaggressions, or prejudice and establishes a "restorative process" that may be utilized to facilitate healing and growth, conversations about shared responsibilities for mutual respect, inclusivity, and the elimination of unwelcome bias, microaggressions, and prejudice in daily interactions.
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • As of 2018, Simmons University has implemented mandatory diversity and inclusion training for faculty and staff.
Program and Research Funding
  • The university hosts a Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Cultural Studies which offers numerous programs such as the Gender and Cultural Studies graduate program that has students "clearly articulate the core concepts, main themes, relevant literatures, and central figures in the fields of intersectional feminist studies and critical race studies."
  • Sponsored by the American Library Association, the ALA Spectrum Initiative Scholarship program at Simmons has successfully recruited over forty scholars from AY13/14 to AY22/23. Each student scholar receives $6,500 to cover the cost of two courses.
  • As part of Giving Day 2021, the Simmons Fund for Diversity and Inclusion raised $2,990 in efforts to support various DEI initiatives such as "seminars on the experiences of students of color on predominantly white campuses" and "faculty-specific DEI training and resources for pedagogy, including workshops on inclusive excellence, gender pronouns, and cultural competence."
  • The Multicultural Center Summer Bridge Pilot program is a "free summer transition program, offering incoming undergraduate first-year students who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), an opportunity to participate, connect, learn, and grow with the Simmons community."
  • Simmons University's library offers numerous anti-racism resources.
  • The President created an Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
  • Additionally, "Simmons offers Special Topics Courses to address current events." Past courses include Radical Librarianship as well as Race and Racism.
  • Simmons University's Organizational Culture, Inclusion, and Equity Office also offers resources for police reform, equity, and inclusion.
  • The school offers a Multicultural Overnight Student Travel program for prospective students.
  • Simmons has a "Talking to Children About Race" resource section, where it asserts that "parents must engage their children of any age in a conversation about what the current civil rights movement means for the country and for them."
  • The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS)'s IDEA committee spearheads various DEI and Accessibility initiatives and works with faculty and faculty committees to implement these initiatives. This school-wide committee is composed of faculty members, librarians, and the Dean’s Fellow for DEI Initiatives.
  • Students of Color at SLIS (SoCS) was founded in the Fall of 2015 in response to a call for a greater sense of community amongst graduate students of color at the Simmons School of Library and Information Science.
  • Under the Simmons Multicultural Center, the Collective forms the 13+ student affinity organizations.
  • Simmons states that it would "enhance our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice by infusing equity minded principles in our decision-making..." and that one of its strategies is to "increase social justice education."
Symbolic Actions
  • On February 25, 2021, the university announced that "President Lynn Perry Wooten will moderate an upcoming virtual conversation on anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion with Professor Ibram X. Kendi, one of the world's leading historians and scholars in anti-racism."
  • Ibram X. Kendi's book, "How to Be an Anti-Racist," was selected by Simmons University as "the Spring 2021 Community Read."
  • In 2016, the Dean's Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives "was established with a focus on diversity."
  • In 2015-2017, the school had a SLIS Diversity and Inclusion Task Force that worked towards diversity and inclusion "at the university level."
  • On July 30, 2020, the president released a statement announcing that "I will ask the Presidential Advisers on Diversity to recommend a new set of initiative and actions to engage our whole community in the fight against systemic racism and societal injustice."
  • Following the death of George Floyd, the president released a statement saying, "George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are but the latest victims of society’s inherent racism."
  • The Counseling Center at Simmons supports DEI by ensuring that there are "racially diverse practitioners" who are "uniquely positioned to support the needs of BIPOC students" and employing a "feminist intersectional model" of care instead of using a "pathologizing model of mental health care." The Center has various support groups such as Spectrum, for LGBTQIA+ students, and Sister Circle, for Black women.
  • The Simmons Multicultural Center is a "community that is committed to the growth and healing of all systematically marginalized identities, to educating every student on social inequities, and how to get engaged in improving the future."
Last updated May 3rd, 2024
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