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Leading our community to racial and restorative justice.

“I offer my deepest apology to those members of our Santa Clara family, past and present, who have suffered the painful sting of racism here. I apologize for racist policies and practices, for actions and inaction, that have caused harm to people of color over the years at Santa Clara... As president, I will prioritize making Santa Clara an anti-racist institution. I invite you to join with me in this vital priority, for such transformation requires many hearts, hands, minds, and souls.”

 

PRESIDENT KEVIN O'BRIEN, S.J.
CONVOCATION ADDRESS, SEPTEMBER 15, 2020

 

Events nationally and on campus in the summer of 2020 raised important questions and needed discussions about racial equity and justice. Addressing these issues is vital for our University. The following are some of the actions we are taking:

Actions in Progress

  • We have retained Judge LaDoris Cordell (Ret.) to conduct a comprehensive review of Campus Safety Services. With decades of experience in the judiciary, higher education and many other areas of public service, the widely respected Judge Cordell will bring to the process rigor, fairness and compassion. Her experience as an independent police auditor for the City of San Jose will be invaluable to us. The audit of Campus Safety has begun and our goal is to conclude by the end of this calendar year. Judge Cordell’s recommendations will guide our decisions and actions into any needed changes in Campus Safety and an evolution of how Campus Safety engages with all SCU community members.

  • We have retained a highly experienced independent investigator to conduct a fair, impartial and thorough investigation into what occurred on August 22, in accordance with the Interim Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy, which was developed and approved through a collaborative process involving students, staff and faculty. The investigation is underway.
  • We have engaged a trainer from the team of Dr. Jennifer L. Eberhardt, the renowned Stanford University professor and expert on unconscious bias research, whose work is described at sparq.stanford.edu. The trainings, which began on September 14, will be conducted with Cabinet members, deans and other campus leaders, and all employees in Campus Safety Services.

  • We have resumed the search for the new position, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which was suspended in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • We have initiated several community efforts to keep racial justice at the forefront, including facilitating community conversations, establishing working groups across campus, and other program updates.
  • We have committed additional resources to support the recruitment and retention of Black students, staff and faculty, including initiatives that will address diversity, equity and inclusion in the classroom and curriculum, training and education, engagement opportunities, and community accountability.

 

 

Previous and Ongoing Campus Initiatives

The Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) fosters Santa Clara University's commitment to the education of the whole person in the Jesuit tradition through support for the recruitment, retention, and success of a diverse community of faculty, staff and students, and through collaborations with other offices to promote academic excellence through a diverse and inclusive campus climate.

In 2018, Santa Clara conducted a Campus Climate Study as a direct response to the recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity and Inclusion and the Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion. Ten priorities received careful attention and action in 2019.

The Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion (2017) was responsible for developing the Strategic Implementation Plan for the Recommendations of the SCU Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity and Inclusion.

Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity and Inclusion (2016) brought together campus representatives, alumni, and community leaders to develop strategies to help create the change we wish to see. Among other things, the Commission considered how to improve the recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff of color and how to help the University become a more inclusive and diverse community for all populations.