Recommendations & Actions
- The University's Council for Diversity and Inclusion met several times over the summer months to consider recommendations to provide to the President's Cabinet. The Council reviewed and considered information submitted by students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members, along with petitions, notes from listening sessions with students and alumni, as well as its own analysis. Cabinet members will review the recommendations in the coming weeks.
- The Office of Equity and Diversity, the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, the Division of Student Life and the Office of Community Relations are collaborating on various virtual workshops, talks and other educational events to be presented by experts on anti-racism, transforming traditionally white institutions of higher learning to make Black Lives Matter, and other topics. Additional information will be forthcoming this fall.
- Members of the University are challenged to deepen their own understanding. Listen to a podcast. Attend a virtual event on anti-racism, Black Lives Matter, or a related topic.
As a reminder, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Grants remain available through OED. More information is available here.
Policy and Strategic Planning
- After Father Pilarz approved the new Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy in June, the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED) with the assistance from Student Life and Human Resources created a reporting and resources brochure for students, faculty and staff. Printed copies are also being distributed throughout campus. In addition, OED and Student Government collaborated to create a social media information campaign to promote the policy.
- Students, faculty and staff now may file reports of harassment, discrimination, bias or hate online. Reports can be filed anonymously.
- OED also provided training on the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy to all recently hired faculty and staff. Now that our community is back on campus, additional trainings will be announced over the next few weeks.
- In coordination with the University Planning Committee and with feedback from across the University community, we have solidified our long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion by firmly embedding them into the new strategic plan.
- One of the five primary goals for this new plan is to:
- Reflect and understand the diversity of the world by demanding that diversity be a priority as we build an inclusive community and campus culture, develop and deliver our education and shape our student experience.
- The strategic plan was approved by the Board of Trustees in September 2020.
Faculty and Staff
The working group on hiring for diversity will strategize effective ways to deepen and grow the racial and ethnic diversity of our faculty and staff. This group will consider such matters as:
- How we strengthen the diversity of our candidate pools
- How we structure our positions for greater diversity
- How and where we advertise for faculty and staff
- How to assist search committees/departments to review candidate pools, interview and host candidates, and make recommendations in ways that support diversity
- How the University supports hiring for diversity and discourages bias and other obstacles to hiring for diversity
- How the University supports and retains faculty and staff of color
- Other important concerns for hiring for diversity
- While the coronavirus prevented the University from hosting in-person educational opportunities, the OED held virtual opportunities and posted recorded links under the diversity and inclusion section of its website of several workshops held on Diversity and Inclusion Topics over the previous academic year.
- On Aug. 3, 2020, OED sent out an online training to faculty and staff on the topic of microaggression and implicit bias, which has been completed by more than 350 faculty and staff members.
- This online training is the first part of a three-part series that includes a lunch and learn and small group discussions. We encourage all faculty and staff to participate. More information is available here.
- Faculty have engaged in productive discussion to ensure that a review of general education this year includes a focus on the development and implementation of a curricular component that addresses racism and discrimination. In addition, some academic departments have already had significant discussions about how to strengthen their disciplinary curriculum and teaching methods.
- Relatedly, Father Pilarz approved a proposal from the History Department to hire a full-time faculty member with a focus on African American history. Other academic departments have submitted proposals for new faculty lines to strengthen our curriculum and help to diversify our faculty. We ask that any further proposals be submitted to the Provost's Office by Aug. 31.
- The OED also added resources for faculty to its website to create a more inclusive classroom. Every member of the faculty should to avail themselves of the resources offered and to consider how they can engage race and racism within their courses, scholarship and/or University service.
- University Provost Jeffrey P. Gingerich, Ph.D. focused the pre-semester retreat with the deans on a discussion of diversity, inclusion and racial inequality.
- All deans, associate deans and the associate provost attended the retreat, which included prior readings on anti-racism in relationship to our Catholic and Jesuit mission, and the online training for microagression and implicit bias mentioned above.
- This academic leadership team will continue these discussions throughout the year and will develop an annual evaluation tool to assess how academic departments have contributed to the University’s diversity and inclusion efforts and policies and how they might further support our efforts.
Resources and Activities for Students
- Sponsored two dialogue series, for a total of five sessions.
- One series focused on understanding race, racism, and racial identity and privilege (with sessions on White privilege, understanding and interrupting bias, and racism and racial disparities in healthcare).
- The other focused on racial healing and identity to support and empower folks of color, with sessions on Black history and the BIPOC acronym, and on racial healing and multiracial Americans.
- These series will continue throughout the semester.
- Developed and facilitated a new Orientation session about community, bias, microaggressions, and University expectations for inclusion.
- Worked with the Assistant Dean of Students, Aramark and students to identify and purchase personal care products that are now available in the POD to better serve students of color in particular.
- Along with other faculty and staff, met with students throughout the summer to discuss a Black Student Union, and began supporting students in drafting paperwork to propose a student organization.
- Supported Student Government’s conversations reflecting on their reading of So You Want to Talk About Race, by reading the text and participating in dialogues.
- In partnership with Residence Life, developed and facilitated training for Resident Assistants about fostering community through the development of cultural competence, and discussed recognition of and confronting bias and microaggressions. Reached out to faculty partners to offer guest lectures on topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
- As an additional resource for students of color, the Counseling Center in collaboration with the Cross Cultural Centers launched a weekly support and empowerment group just prior to the COVID-19 campus closure.
- Through restructuring last year, Student Life created an Assistant Dean of Students position to increase retention and student success with emphasis on first generation students and students of color.
- Posted a statement of solidarity, prayers of hope and reconciliation (including a daily reflection and call to prayer the week of June 8), education about systemic racism, and other measures to raise awareness of this crisis and to examine and address how our students’ spiritual formation is impacted by systemic racism on social media.
- Staff attended a five week workshop organized by Catholic Relief Services Power & Privilege Discernment Group, on analyzing and reflecting on power, privilege, race and culture in university faith-justice efforts and support students across a broad range of identities as leaders and advocates for the global common good in partnership with CRS.
- Led a weekly discussion coinciding with the Mercy Critical Anti-Racism Education Challenge and a reflective discussion with students on June 3 on an America magazine article “Who suffers most during the Pandemic”/.
- Hosted a prayer service for peace in response to racial violence.
- Committed to educating our organization and beginning by reading So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and participating in bi-weekly book discussions to reflect on systemic racism and oppression, our experiences, and how we can foster a more inclusive and diverse community.
- Planned an implicit-bias training to help Student Government members to uncover their own biases of which some might not be fully aware.
- Discussions with the Provost to advocate for changes to the General Education program to include more rigid requirements for students in the area of cultural diversity and competency, review courses with the Cultural Diversity designation, and offer more courses on cultural diversity.
- Advocated for cultural diversity requirements to be included in the TAPESTRY/Passport Professional Development programs.
- Began to plan a workshop open to the campus community in October as a condensed version of Multicultural Counseling course taught in the Counseling & Human Services department.
- Continued to solicit feedback through our SG Diversity & Inclusion Feedback Form from students.
- Worked with the Office of Equity & Diversity to educate the campus community about the changes made to the Non-Discrimination & Anti-Harassment Policy recently passed by Father Pilarz.
- Kept an open line of communication going between Executive Board of the United Cultures Organization as we continue to work together and collaborate this semester.