Committee Charge

This site is a temporary home for the reports of the college’s Committee on Campus Space and Institutional History (CSIH). The Committee was asked by President Falk in Spring 2016 to recommend principles that could guide the Williams community’s consideration of representations of Williams history generally, as well as specific images or pieces in particular, starting with the Log mural.

The Committee delivered its report on the Log mural in May 2016 and its comprehensive, final report in May 2017. The Committee roster is listed within each report.

The final report sets out central questions and proposes a set of guiding principles. It also explores three illustrative examples in detail: the Faculty House, the Herman Rosse painting in the ’62 Center, and the Haystack Monument. The list of examples is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to illustrate how the principles might be applied.

President Falk’s campus announcement of the final report thanks the Committee for fulfilling their charge and then sets out next steps on each of the three examples. In its conclusion, he writes:

This is important and complicated work. It has at its heart the very question of the community we aspire to be. We will never seek to erase Williams’ history, nor to rewrite it. But we must continue to evolve as a community, and that evolution must include the voices and perspectives of all those whom we’ve invited here as full members.

A permanent website is being developed, to launch by fall 2017, where the Committee’s work and related materials can be used to foster this ongoing consideration of Williams’ history.