Muhlenberg’s Haas College Center has a new inhabitant in one of its offices scattered with college administrators. Lin-Chi Wang is Muhlenberg’s new Associate Dean of Students and Director of Equity and Title IX.
Wang arrives at Muhlenberg with a law degree from Michigan State University and experience as an Associate Attorney and Institutional Equity Investigator.
Her title may be a mouthful featuring two titles merged by many conjunctions but Wang painted her role at Muhlenberg with a broader stroke.
“Generally, I oversee and respond to reports and conduct related to discrimination and harassment based on protected categories under the College’s Student Code of Conduct, Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy, Statement on Discriminatory Harassment and Hate/Bias Policy at the College to ensure equal opportunity for all students and employees,” said Wang.
Wang’s knowledge of Gender Violence and Sexual Misconduct is what impresses Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean Allison Gulati. “(Wang) shares information with faculty, staff and students in ways that are relatable, easy to understand and it makes this very critical information clear for our community to follow,” said Gulati.
New projects aimed at college-wide nondiscrimination policy are beginning early in Wang’s tenure. The practices will “align Muhlenberg College with nationwide best practices on addressing discriminatory and harassing conduct in higher education,” according to Wang. She continued, “There will be opportunities for review and feedback from the Muhlenberg community before it goes to a board vote.”
“Lin-Chi has already had multiple opportunities to meet with student groups and they have commented on her ability to dialog with them in ways that are open and make them feel comfortable,” Gulati said regarding Wang’s work thus far at ‘Berg. Wang also realizes that she has assets within the current Muhlenberg community. “I have gotten some great ideas from students for new informational brochures and posters about sexual misconduct and dating violence reporting awareness.” Wang anticipates those resources to be available in the “near future.”
The immediate impact of the resources can play a significant role increasing “awareness, education and sense of compassion around issues of discrimination and harassment for historically and systematically underrepresented and marginalized communities,” said Wang. These were aspects of the Muhlenbubble that Wang indicated could be improved. She expressed that communities benefit when they have an “understanding of why it’s important to have an elevated awareness.”
Along with community feedback, Wang is working with W. Scott Lewis, J.D. Lewis is a “highly sought-after and respected Title IX consultant from the NCHERM Group,” according to Wang. NCHERM, or the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management is self defined on their website as “a law and consulting firm that offers systems-level solutions for safer schools and campuses.” NCHERM also “emphasizes best practices for policy, training, and prevention as proactive risk management.”
Equity has been a primary focus of various revisions to the college’s social code and Wang wants to engrain equity into the life of every member of the Muhlenberg community. “Commitment to ensuring equity ties directly into a sense of belonging in a community and respecting and accepting others in a community,” explained Wang, “regardless of differences in race, gender identity, ability, or other bases of identity.”
Gulati also expressed how integral equity is to the Muhlenberg community and how Wang can be involved with promoting one of the college’s core value. “Every student has a right to pursue their degree and to participate in the complete college experience to the fullest. To do this, it requires all of us to act and implement programs and policies in ways that are equitable.” She continued, “We are committed to providing a positive intellectual and social environment for all members of our community, regardless of their background or identities.”
For Wang, the move to Muhlenberg involved a bit of uprooting on her journey to Allentown but she has begun to replant those roots on Muhlenberg’s Campus. “I have felt welcomed with open arms by the Muhlenberg community and for that I am extremely grateful.”