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«President’s Institutional Diversity Council 2010-11 Report Introduction Will Johnson, associate dean of student/director of student diversity ...»

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President’s Institutional Diversity Council

2010-11 Report


Will Johnson, associate dean of student/director of student diversity programs, Dr. Renee White,

professor of sociology and academic coordinator for diversity and global citizenship (September 2010

thru May 2011) and Dr. Danke Li, associate professor of history (May 2011 thru present) served as the

Council’s co-chairs. The Council’s charge was:

To consider the evolving impact of diversity on and within the Fairfield University culture, and to recommend programs, colloquia, or forums in which University community members (students, faculty, and staff) can participate and engage in discussions about how diversity impacts and what diversity requires of them.

The members of the Council were:

Rev. Gerald Blaszczak, S.J., vice president for mission and identity/university chaplain Rev. James Bowler, S.J., university facilitator for Catholic and Jesuit mission and identity Rev. George Collins, S.J., coordinator of mission and identity Dr. Beth Boquet, associate vice president for academic affairs Judy Dobai, vice president for enrollment management Karen Donoghue, dean of students Jordan Freeman ’13, undergraduate student Mark Guglielmoni, director of human resources William Johnson, associate dean of students/director of student diversity programs, co-chair Amenda Legros, graduate student Dr. Danke Li, associate professor, College of Arts and Sciences, co-chair Soobin Lim ’11, undergraduate student Kara Lucy, graduate student Jasmine Mickey ’12, undergraduate student Dr. Carl Scheraga, professor, Dolan School of Business Dr. Norm Solomon, dean, Dolan School of Business Dr. Ann Stehney, assistant vice president for institutional research and planning Rama Sudhakar, vice president for marketing and communications Dr. Roben Torosyan, associate director, Center for Academic Excellence and assistant professor, Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions Dr. Ellen Umansky, professor, College of Arts and Sciences and director of Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center Dr. Renee White, professor, College of Arts and Sciences and academic coordinator for diversity and global citizenship, co-chair Dr. Wook-Sung Yoo, associate professor, School of Engineering Process and Organization The co-chairs spent much of the fall 2010 semester reflecting, strategizing, and planning before convening the full council. It was agreed that greater emphasis would be placed on the work of committees/workgroups and that full council meetings would occur less frequently (twice per semester) After sharing a renewed vision for the Council with Father von Arx, president, and Father Fitzgerald, senior vice president for academic affairs, the Council met for the first time in January 2011. Most of the Council’s time between January and May was spent brainstorming, meeting with various university constituents, reviewing data, and assessing current structures and the general climate of the campus.

During the January meeting, Father von Arx restated his vision for diversity and inclusiveness at Fairfield and the role that the Council plays in achieving this mark. Current Council member Judy Dobai provided the Council with a historical perspective on the diversification of the student body. Current Council member Mark Guglielmoni spoke with the Council about current practices and policies related to diversity and inclusion within the Office of Human Resources. Other university constituents invited to meetings include Dr. Billy Weitzer, executive vice president, and Kamala Kiem, director of new student programs.

Over the summer and during the fall 2011 semester, the Council was divided into three workgroups who were tasked with deeper exploration of topics discussed by the Council in during the spring 2011 semester and developing recommendations or proposals to be considered by the President. The three

workgroups formed were:

–  –  –

Institutional Commitment The workgroup conducted a review of campus diversity information available to current and potential students, employees, alumni, and interested parties. This review included Fairfield University’s website as well as the sites of eleven Jesuit universities or regional college peers. The primary goal for these reviews was to identify best practices in presenting and conveying a commitment to diversity initiatives through the vehicle of a university website.

The workgroup found several examples of “successful” presentations as well as institutions that do not seem to be very far along in their efforts. The workgroup also found several areas where Fairfield should strengthen current efforts at presenting diversity information on our website. For points of comparison, the workgroup conducted a market review of other colleges to gauge how well Fairfield’s policies and statements compare to other institutions.

Conversations and Dialogues

This workgroup aimed to develop ways in which we can create more sustained conversations and dialogues pertaining to diversity and inclusion across groups on campus, combining professional/life experiences and personal sharing. Any activity developed would be based on key institutional data. The format of each activity should be one that allows for the inclusion of the multiple points of view of the participants.

Workshops and Training

The workshops and training workgroup focused on two potential opportunities. One would be to develop a protocol for reporting bias incidents that occur on campus. In response to any incident, a response team could establish workshop or training opportunities to educate the university community about the occurrence. Additionally, the workgroup explored the possibility of holding a campus-wide conference focused on issues of diversity and inclusion.

Recommendations A. Creation of sustained diversity dialogues across groups on campus, combining experiences and personal sharing


The development of sustained dialogues groups regarding diversity on campus will contribute to the creation of a more inclusive campus culture in the Fairfield University community. The dialogues will provide members of the University with an experience that allows for intellectual and personal sharing and an opportunity to hear the diverse perspectives of people with different backgrounds.


Base activities on findings from key institutional diversity data and personal experiences of faculty, professional staff and students Activities should utilize a format that supports the inclusion of the multiple points of view of participants Frame recommendations for specific audiences, namely faculty, professional staff, students Report back to participants on results, findings, etc. from each event

Recommended Programs:

1. Campus-wide diversity conversations (recurring each fall in order to):

These conversations will help to build campus climate and culture changes over time. Faculty, administrators, and students will be reminded about where we are and where we need to go to increase inclusivity. Conversations may be topical and focused on campus climate, religion, gender, race, class, etc.

Responsible party(s) – Office of the President, vice president for administration, coordinator for mission and identity Method for assessing impact – pre and post-event survey, on-going campus climate evaluation Timeline/target date for implementation – fall 2012 Potential/anticipated cost – event/room set-up

2. Division-specific dialogues:

To continue what began at the campus-wide conversation, each division will be charged with facilitating discussions on professional and personal experiences, using concrete resources like readings or videos, and generating action steps for change. Topics may include best practices for creating an inclusive climate in, for example, student affairs, academic affairs, marketing & communication, etc.

Responsible party(s) – division heads Method for assessing impact – annual report feedback, reporting out to PIDC Timeline/target date for implementation – spring 2013 Potential/anticipated cost – professional training or facilitator fee, travel

3. Students dialogues:

Utilize First Year Experience program and sophomore residential colleges to create the studentcentered diversity and inclusion workshops similar to Safe Space Ally Training. In FYE, for example, students would be allowed to opt-out of FYE events for participating in diversity dialogue series. Additionally, assess specific learning outcomes in US and World Diversity designated courses to ensure that students are gaining the knowledge and skills desired related to diversity awareness.

Responsible party(s) – Office of the Dean of Students (New Student Programs), U.S. and World Diversity subcommittees, Office of Student Diversity Programs, Office of Academic Engagement Method for assessing impact – changes in CIRP and NSSE data, add question to IDEA survey to assess if desired learning outcomes for course were achieved Timeline/target date for implementation – fall 2012 for FYE, fall 2013 for sophomore residential colleges Potential/anticipated cost – professional training or facilitator fee, travel

4. Run focus groups each spring (with special invitations to faculty, faculty, administrators

and students) to discuss:

Use focus groups as an opportunity to gain constructive feedback from members of the university community on various diversity initiatives that have occurred over the course of the academic year.

Responsible party(s) – Human Resources Method for assessing impact – open-ended survey (on-site) Timeline/target date for implementation – spring 2013 Potential/anticipated cost – event/room set-up B. Creation of a Bias Prevention & Education Advisory Panel to educate the campus community around issues of discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran’s status, political ideology, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, or disability.

The Advisory Panel would not change policies or procedures clearly outlined by human resources, public safety or the respective dean’s offices. The Team/Advisory Panel would partner with these departments and other campus resources to support victims or groups who have experienced or witnessed incidents and help prevent future incidents from occurring on campus.


Fairfield University is committed to maintaining a diverse and multicultural community in which the dignity and worth of each of its members is respected. The University has very clear policies around incidents of discrimination or harassment. However, incidents of discrimination or harassment might occur and there is no known victim or accused. For example, a student might find racial slurs written on a Residence Hall wall but there were no witnesses to the act. The Advisory Panel would be responsible for determining a proper response for this incident for those directly and indirectly impacted. This example takes a reactive approach and has limited to shift our culture. Therefore, the Advisory board would also be a proactive board working throughout the community providing education and awareness training to all Fairfield University Community members prior to any incidents occurring.


The Advisory Panel would:

Provide education and awareness training in an effort to prevent bias incidents on campus Monitor campus climate through survey’s, incident reports, and awareness programs Advise campus administration and partner with key university constituents to effectively communicate to the university community bias incidents occurring on campus Connect the victim/group with on campus resources so they feel heard

The Advisory Panel would not:

Be responsible for the investigation of any bias incident Overstep boundaries around freedom of speech Have responsibility in the administrative processes around code of conduct violations

Process for creating the Advisory Panel:

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