Inclusion Action Items
Although the Whitman Inclusion Task Force was a newly formed group, members recognized that their work built on many existing resources, previous conversations and the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts of the Whitman community over the past few years. The group established an anti-racist, inclusivity focused framework based on Sylvia Hurtado’s model of Diverse Learning Environments to guide their review of those items as well as additional information gathered throughout the community feedback process.
The Student Group identified the following areas as of primary concern to matters of diversity, equity and inclusion in student life: 1) Curricular/Co-curricular; 2) Communications; 3) Resource and Facility Equity; and 4) Campus Climate.
The Staff Group identified the following areas as of primary concern to matters of diversity, equity and inclusion in staff life: 1) Belonging, Inclusion and Wellness; 2) Communication, Engagement and Community Development; and 3) Training, Development and Planning.
The Faculty Group identified the following areas as of primary concern to matters of diversity, equity and inclusion in faculty life: 1) An inability or unwillingness to have difficult conversations; 2) A lack of universal basic competency around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion; 3) A lack of appreciation of “invisible labor”; 4) Persistent toxicity at the department and personal levels; 5) Lack of diversity in hiring; and 6) Scarce focus on race and difference in the curriculum, as mentioned by faculty and in other student documents.
From these themes, three strategic goals were developed:
Recruitment, Retention and Support
Recruit, retain, and support a diverse population of community members.
Inclusion, Belonging and Climate
Develop intentional opportunities for community building, creating safe spaces for feedback and opportunities for innovation and campus-wide impact. Provide regular transparent updates on inclusion progress and campus climate concerns.
Training and Curricular Exploration
Equip our campus community with training around cultural competencies that allow for working across differences and conflict resolution. Promote inclusion in curricular choices, scholar selection, campus speakers and community engagements.
Lastly, accountability and measurements of success will be developed as apart of the implementation phase for each of these action steps and we have planned intentional regular report outs on progress for the community. Following review of the Inclusion Task Force Report and the suggestions for improving diversity, equity and inclusion, President Murray and the Cabinet approved the following action items for implementation.