From: Peggy Williams
I am pleased to provide the campus community with an update on our progress toward addressing our diversity priority of the Institutional Plan. I convened a presidential task force on diversity in spring 2004 and charged this group to analyze our progress under the plan and to make recommendations to me. The task force submitted a report to me early last spring.
During the first half of the spring semester, a series of incidents of bias and hate occurred on the campus. Following my address to the campus community in March, I asked the task force to reconvene and take a look at their report to me -- in light of these incidents and in relation to the results of the campus climate survey that had been completed by students. The task force met additional times and submitted a final report to me at the end of May.
Recommendations in the report address:
- Assessment of various diversity initiatives
- Hiring/retaining ALANA faculty and staff
- Retaining ALANA students
- Long range planning for improved access to facilities
- Future approach to conducting a campus climate survey
- Electronic reporting mechanism for incidents of hatred and bias and related topics.
Some recommendations will be adopted now and others will require further analysis and discussion before decisions will be made.
I have already accepted two of the recommendations:
Creation of a President's Advisory Committee on Diversity. This committee will play a role in the consideration of some of the recommendations, as well as serving as a resource to the campus community on diversity-related issues and programs. I will appoint this committee soon.
Elimination of the Bias Related Incidents Committee and Bias alerts -- while we continue to explore mechanisms for victims to report such incidents to Public Safety
Also, we will follow through on the commitment we made last spring to involve all new students in diversity education. A diversity education program will be held the evening of September 28 -- stay tuned for more details.
I want to thank each member of this task force for their time and thoughtfulness in the good work that they did.
The full Diversity Task Force report, including the recommendations contained within it, and an executive summary are available on line at the website of the Office of the President, Reports and Initiatives.