The Paideia Institute, whose mission is to teach the ancient Greek and Latin languages and to promote the study of ancient Greek and Roman civilization, has recently been the subject of much criticism. The Paideia Board of Directors welcomes criticism and affirms its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and will undertake to address what have been identified as real and persistent problems.
It is clear that in developing over the course of a decade from a very small beginning into a robust and wide-ranging enterprise, Paideia has made mistakes and misjudgments. In some instances Paideia’s leaders, who have demonstrated remarkable commitment to the Classics, particularly to serving those who traditionally had little or no access to the Classics, have been insensitive to the feelings of individuals both inside and outside Paideia.
For several months now Paideia has been working to address these concerns. Initiatives have included hiring a consultant to give staff members and teachers an opportunity to have their concerns heard with all fairness, creating an employee handbook of policies and procedures, and forming an HR committee that has received and acted upon reported concerns and grievances. Director Georgia Nugent and the HR Committee are working with Paideia’s leadership to establish best possible practices in Human Resources for the organization. We will continue to make this effort a high priority. The Board will also seek to interview former members of the Paideia staff who would like to offer their views on their experiences at Paideia.
We will soon announce a search for an executive officer to take responsibility for the day-to-day operations of Paideia. In the meantime, we expect in the next week to name an interim person to take this role. This individual will report directly to the Board, and will do a comprehensive review of operational practices and make recommendations for changes. Paideia is committed to increasing its diversity, both on the Board and in positions of leadership.
Over its ten years of existence, the Paideia Institute has done much to enhance the teaching of ancient Greek and Latin, and has served students of all ages and backgrounds. Many individuals and organizations have recognized that achievement and expressed their gratitude for it. We hope to continue that record, and to work effectively with all interested parties in making the study of classical humanities vibrant and significant in today’s world.
The Board of Directors
The Paideia Institute for Humanistic Study, Inc.