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Planning for Progress on DEI (11/19/2021)

Dear Colleagues,

Furthering our efforts to elevate belonging and equity, the College of Arts & Sciences has embarked on a process to create a strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion. I am excited and grateful to be part of a Strategic Plan Committee (SPC) composed of dedicated staff and faculty from the Dean’s Staff Diversity Advisory Committee, Faculty Diversity Advisory Committee and Senior Leadership Team. Together, our 11 -member committee will develop the plan over the course of this academic year, with a goal to present the finalized plan to the College in fall 2022. Strategic plans are the gold standard for outlining how best to ensure an effective and transformative process for DEI in higher education. We thus consider this a pivotal and important moment to continue advancing DEI in the College.

Our priority is for the plan to be responsive to the immediate concerns of faculty and staff. I am, therefore, writing to ask for your help. As we assess the College’s current status on matters critical to DEI, it is vital that we understand your experiences and perspectives. To that end, we are requesting your participation in a forthcoming survey — planned to launch the week of Nov. 29th — that will inform our assessment. It isn’t easy for us to ask you to complete another survey, especially given all the burdens that we know you are carrying. However, we also have come to understand that to design a long-range plan for significantly moving the needle on diversity and equity in the College, we must hear directly from you about who you are and what you experience in your work and work environments. We also need to know what you’d like to see as priorities for the College.

We have worked hard to ensure that the survey is not too lengthy. It is designed to be laser-focused on only the essential issues that we need to understand to help us pull together an effective plan that addresses the matters most important to you. We hope you will be able to carve out approximately 15 minutes to share your important information and views with us. After we complete and learn from this assessment phase, we will move onto the next phase: defining a vision and framework for DEI in the College. We look forward to sharing our progress with you.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. As always, I am available to address any questions or suggestions you may have.

Sincerely,

Karla Slocum