Presidential Committee on Campus Inclusion
The Presidential Committee on Campus Inclusion (PCCI) has continued our work throughout the fall semester and would like to update you on current initiatives and items of interest. Based upon the results of our data collection, along with recommendations from our diversity consultant, we developed seven strategic initiatives. While some of these are long-term goals, others are actively being implemented. We will use these imperatives to frame our update.
Strategic Initiative 1.0 Diversity of Faculty and Staff
President Marrero has emphasized the importance of having diverse committee membership on all hiring committees and ensuring that positions are advertised in diverse outlets. The Senior Diversity Officer Search Committee has incorporated this charge.
Strategic Initiative 2.0 Re-establish Institutional Trust
This initiative focuses on keeping lines of communication open and letting campus know what is happening in the area of diversity and inclusion. This update is an example of such communication. UWG also provides an outlet for individuals who need to express specific concerns through the UWG Cares. Here, students, faculty and staff can find resources about a variety of issues and report concerns. An additional outlet to reporting specific concerns for faculty and staff is the Ombuds office.
Strategic Initiative 3.0 Diversity & Inclusion Capacity Building
In an effort to promote learning opportunities for students, faculty, and staff, the PCCI joined the continuous efforts of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion's long standing multicultural book discussion. The PCCI in collaboration with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Ingram Library, West Georgia Athletics, Housing and Residence Life, and Student Activities Council will host Jim Grimsley, author of How I shed my skin: Unlearning the racist lessons of a Southern childhood (2015) on March 23, 2016 for a campus-wide event with opportunities for the author to visit classes earlier in the afternoon. Additionally, the PCCI has collaborated with the Responsible Sexuality Committee to host a Safe Zone “Train the Trainers” two-day workshop and student-focused evening program on issues of gender and sexuality to promote services that create safe spaces for identifiable marginalized communities. In addition, a Student Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee has been appointed and is meeting regularly with Dr. Marrero, Dr. Lingrell, Vice President of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management, and Dean of Students, Dr. Whitaker.
Strategic Initiative 4.0 Community Building
To facilitate mobility on campus, the PCCI is ready to move forward with a recommendation for a Golf Cart Policy for campus employees. The policy would allow campus employees to “check out” golf carts on campus by identifying participating units and contact persons willing and able to share their resources. Additionally, the Gender Neutral Restroom Committee has recommended that single-user bathrooms be designated as gender neutral to accommodate individuals or families that would benefit such a change. The committee is in the process of creating a map of single-user gender neutral restrooms on campus that will be made available on the website. Furthermore, the PCCI committee is looking into diversity training/module development, the details of which are still being negotiated.
Strategic Initiative 5.0 Define Diversity – Vision Statement
We have defined a diversity vision statement at UWG as:
When you “Go West,” you become part of a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion, recognizing the valuable contributions of each of our faculty, staff, and students. Our individual differences lend us a collective strength that also serves as an expression of our values and beliefs. We value every member of our community not in spite of but because of our differences in age, color, creed, education, ethnicity, gender expression, national origin, physical and cognitive ability, race, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, and veteran status.
Strategic Initiative 6.0 Creation of a Senior Diversity Officer Position
The SDO search process began in the fall of 2015. The search committee consists of N. Jane McCandless (Chair) Willie Black, Michael Crafton, Betsy Dahms, Daryl Dickie, Scott Gordon, Juanita Hicks, Kimberly Marroquin, Melanie McLean, Derick Newton, Deirdre Rouse, Beheruz Sethna, Rebecca Smith, Laurie Ware, and Lara Willox. While we have already received many qualified applicants, the closing date for the search is February 28, 2016. With this mind, please consider sharing the job information across your networks or recommend specific individuals who may fit the description.
Strategic Initiative 7.0 Accountability and Reporting
The Presidential Committee on Campus Inclusion will assist the new Senior Diversity Office in acclimating to campus, establishing a strategy for clear communication and implementing recommendations. We see our role evolving to support and advise the Senior Diversity officer in setting their agenda on campus, including accountability and reporting strategies. We will also assist the Senior Diversity Office in the search for external funding to support new diversity and inclusion initiatives as well as in drafting a Strategic Diversity Plan for the university.
The PCCI encourages your feedback as we continue our charge to improve diversity and inclusion efforts on campus.
Betsy Dahms and Lara Willox, Co-chairs