Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Plan Update
Dear DU community,
In July, I made a promise that we would have a plan in place at the University of Denver to substantively and urgently address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) on campus this year. In August, we shared the draft of our action plan and solicited feedback from the DU community. Today, we are moving into the final and most critical stage and commencing the vital work of its implementation over the academic year.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan anchors this year’s strategic framework as a driving force in our abiding commitment to truly embody a forward-looking institution and community where all can belong, contribute, and thrive. We have no illusions as to the difficulty of realizing our ambitious goals, and there is much work to be done to complete the 10 actions items within the plan, but I’d like to share a few updates:
We are deepening our efforts to actively address our institutional history and its connection to the historical violence against and displacement of Native American communities.
- We are continuing to support the work of the Native American Community Advisory Board formed out of the Native American Inclusivity Task Force and intend to facilitate the next meeting during the autumn quarter.
- We are inviting leaders of the Cheyenne and Arapaho communities to the University this term to continue discussions on how we can foster partnership and healing.
- We are continuing to implement and explore the key recommendations made by the Native American Inclusivity Task Force that have been shared earlier this year, as well as those of the previous John Evans Committee.
We are dedicating funding for additional support positions, as recommended in the DEI Action Plan.
- We will hire two new project coordinators in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) to facilitate the diversity summit, heritage months, DEI steering committee, and other programming, including a new ODEI Fellows program.
- We have committed to hiring a new coordinator who will specifically focus on improving the access and experience of Black community members at DU.
- We have committed to hiring an instructional designer to support, manage, and assess the Inclusive Teaching Practices online program and portfolio.
We are instituting community-wide education and training on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- As we shared over the summer, for the first time, DU will launch mandatory training for all faculty on inclusive teaching and community practices.
- We are instituting mandatory education and training for all faculty, students, and staff (including administrators) on diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as identifying and reducing bias and harassment.
You can review the initiatives described in this update and see how they fit into the DEI Action Plan’s areas of focus on the website dedicated to these efforts. The website will be regularly revised and updated and will include metrics by which our progress can be tracked.
Through this plan, we strive to hold ourselves accountable by formalizing our goals and making an unshakable commitment to the specific actions outlined. We do so willingly and earnestly to become the institution so many of us yearn for and know we can be.
I look forward to doing this work alongside all of you this year, and in the years to come.