Recall our previous discussion about suggested steps that students interested in reforming international admissions might take. Below are some more suggestions:

1) Remind Adam Falk about what he said/promised in his induction speech.

We now recognize that the future leaders of society will come from all its many parts, and that the highest manifestation of the public good we provide is to be a college for all of the United States, and of the world.

we must develop a deeper understanding of what it means for Williams to be an international institution. We must simultaneously be local and global, building a very specific, Berkshires-based Williams that could only be found in this valley, while reaching out far beyond to prepare our students to be effective citizens not only of this country but of the world. Many pieces of this process seem obvious – bring international students to Williams, send Williams students to study abroad – but our conception of a global strategy is still emerging. We are, after all, not a sprawling multiversity but a small college of two thousand students, each here for four years and some thirty courses. We cannot simply add every desirable experience to our curriculum or to student life. We must become global within our existing scale and scope, and without chasing fashions or being driven by our shifting anxieties about America’s geopolitical position. Grappling with this question will require the engagement of our entire community, as our strategies will encompass the curriculum and extend into so much of what we do. And we must think of the internationalization of Williams as something that happens here in Williamstown, capitalizing on what this campus and region can offer.

Many listeners to Falk’s words five years ago assumed that he was on our side, that he wanted to meaningfully increase the number of international students at Williams by, for example, easing/removing the current quota. So far, we have been disappointed. But it is never too late! If Falk still believes that “the internationalization of Williams as something that happens here in Williamstown,” then you can help him move forward.

I still think that Falk (and the rest of the senior administration) is more likely than not to be an ally. So, when speaking with them, you should not say, “Here are our demands!” Instead, you should ask, “How can we help you to make Williams ‘become global within our existing scale and scope’?”

2) Start working on the data. Of course, the first best option is the creation of a faculty committee that would bring the same sophisticated and thorough data analysis to the question of international admissions that the MacDonald Committee brought to the issue of athletic admissions. But that may not be possible right away. However, it is not too early to start your own work on these issues.

First, get some commitment from the Administration (ideally from Falk) that the College will make data available, in the same way that they have made data for senior theses available in the past (e.g., here and here). You aren’t looking for special treatment (or information about any specific student) but the Administration should be able to provide you with the same sort of access that Williams has provided to students like Jennifer Doleac ’03 and Peter Nurnberg ’09 in the past.

Second, get some commitment from a faculty member or two to “supervise” this work. Professors Miller and Stoiciu would be great choices, as would anyone else sympathetic to your cause. The Administration won’t like just handing data to students. But, with a faculty member in a supervisory role, it should be possible.

Third, try to find a junior who would be willing to write a senior thesis on this topic. Such a student, working for someone like Miller, would be perfect. There are 50+ juniors considering doing a senior thesis in economics or statistics. Surely one of them would like to tackle this topic, especially after they find out how many other people would be interested in the results!

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