Aug. 22, 2014
To: University of Denver appointed faculty and staff
From: Gregg Kvistad, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
A crucial mark of a leading university is its commitment to diversity and the inclusive practice of recognizing and valuing the rich experiences, perspectives, and world-views of its community members. The American Council on Education lists as the concrete benefits of a diverse and inclusive university environment an enriched educational experience for all students and faculty members; the promotion of personal growth and a healthy society; the strengthening of citizenship, mutual respect and teamwork; and the enhancement of economic competitiveness. Recognizing that a diverse and inclusive environment is critical to our academic mission, the University of Denver remains committed to realizing these benefits for our community.
Last fall, as many of you recall, we began a process to understand where the University community stood in its commitment to and practice of promoting diversity and inclusive excellence. Under the leadership of Chancellor Emeritus Robert Coombe, we commissioned two studies, one to understand the status of faculty and staff women on campus, and the other to understand the status of faculty and staff members of color. The consultants we hired were Creative Diversity Solutions and Ibis Consulting Group. These firms worked closely with two internal University steering committees led by Drs. Roberto Corrada, Shelly Smith-Acuna, and Barbara Wilcots.
Literally hundreds of you took part in various opportunities the consultants used to gather information about the University – by filling out questionnaires, engaging in dialogue in focus groups, and participating in personal interviews. I deeply appreciate the time and energy you devoted to this effort. Our work, however, is not yet finished. The consultants’ reports are now available, and we need your ideas and continued energy to translate the findings of the studies into concrete institutional change.
We have created a DU Portfolio site to allow you access to the reports and recommendations. Please log in to Portfolio using your PioneerWeb credentials, then navigate to http://portfolio.du.edu/statusstudies/page/51749. We have also created a tool to receive your comments and suggestions. That can be accessed on the Portfolio site and also through https://udenver.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cwjMs3ABHNJfe6h.
Additionally, please make time in your busy schedules to take part in one of the community conversations planned throughout fall term. As meetings are scheduled, dates, times and locations will be posted on the Portfolio site. With your involvement, the University will utilize these findings to make concrete changes to improve diversity, inclusive excellence, and the experience of being a member of the DU community.Thank you for your participation in this very important institutional initiative.