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                                                                                                         September 4, 2020                                                                                                                             

Dear Santa Clara University Community,

In July, we wrote with an update on some of the work being done over the summer toward advancing racial justice. Our commitment to anti-racism and specific actions to promote racial justice are fundamental to our core mission and values as a Jesuit, Catholic university. Your voices and the priorities that you have identified in the campus reports -- Blue Ribbon, Campus Climate, and Unity movements -- are central to our progress as a University community dedicated to care and compassion for each other and advancing humanity for all. Until inclusion and belonging become a lived reality for every member of our community, our work on racial justice is incomplete. 

This is the first of a series of focused updates from the Office of the Provost and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Each update will focus on recommendations in response to the many requests that we have received from community members to provide greater detail about specific actions. Our progress cannot be measured by numbers alone; our progress must be the result of our collective call to action and devotion to each other, especially the most marginalized among us.

Campus Climate Updates

In response to the feedback we received from Campus Climate Survey respondents, a number of colleagues took initiative to advance work in key priority areas identified by the Council on Inclusive Excellence and Planning Action Council. During the summer, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion met with Campus Climate follow-up coordinators to gather spring and summer 2020 progress updates on the ten priority areas identified in the Campus Climate Survey (2018). Those updates can be found here. We want to recognize the students, staff, and faculty who spent a great deal of time and took on immense emotional and intellectual labor to help facilitate the work in these priority areas.

Provost Area Diversity & Inclusion Planning

Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Implementation Plan Recommendation #8 “encourage[s] schools, departments, and offices throughout campus to engage in assessments of their work on diversity and inclusion, to develop plans to ensure progress, and to emphasize the importance of this work and its centrality to SCU’s mission and values to their faculty and staff.” As Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Lisa Kloppenberg intends to center planning this year on advancing racial justice, diversity, equity and inclusion, beginning with this recommendation. This will be the featured topic at the upcoming Deans and Center Directors Retreat on September 11, 2020, as well as the fall Provost’s Extended Area meeting on October 6, 2020. (Extended Area departments include Academic Affairs, Student Life, Drahmann Academic Advising & Learning Resource Center, Core Curriculum, DeSaisset Museum, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, Faculty and Student Research, Faculty Development, Global Engagement Office, Honors & Fellowship, International Studies, Programs and Student Services Offices, Johnson Scholars Program, LEAD Scholars Program, Office of Undergraduate Studies, Research Compliance Integrity, Sponsored Projects Office, Undergraduate Summer, and University Library, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship.)

Each unit/department will be asked to assess their work on diversity and inclusion and identify 2-3 goals (with metrics) for the coming academic year, in response to the recommendations and feedback outlined in our campus reports reflecting extensive work and input from BIPOC faculty, staff and students. 

Collaborative Governance and Policy Changes 

The Provost’s Office has begun to work with the University Coordinating Community to identify and organize action steps that the university policy committees can take to address recommendations from the Task Force Strategic Implementation Plan. The UCC met this week to begin this discussion, and President O’Brien and Provost Kloppenberg will join them next Tuesday to set priorities. 

Community Conversations and Invited Speakers

Our process of truth, reconciliation, restorative justice and healing begins in reflection and conversation. As Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Margaret Russell conveyed, the ODI-sponsored Community Conversations will be expanded beyond its original monthly structure in order to provide more times, more spaces and smaller groups in order to provide opportunities to have authentic and honest conversations about race and racism, and to encourage empathy, understanding and support for each other. The first of these conversations will take place on September 9 for faculty with ongoing events for staff, students, faculty and alumni/ae in the near future. Details will follow. 

In addition, the Provost’s Office and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, in partnership with the colleges and schools, will be offering opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to hear from expert diversity, equity, and inclusion speakers and to participate in facilitated small group discussions and workshops. The following speakers have been confirmed for the fall term. 

  • Marcia Chatelain, Professor, Department of History, Georgetown University —September 23, 2020
  • Bryan Dewsbury, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Rhode Island—October 13-14, 2020 

Finally, we want to acknowledge and highlight a few of the current efforts across campus to advance diversity, inclusion and racial justice. We encourage you to participate in these upcoming events:

  • Advancing Racial Justice - Doing the Work (Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and Center for Social Justice and Public Service)—September 8, 2020
  • Walking the Walk Together, Episode 4 (Engineering Diversity and Inclusion Council)—September 10, 2020
  • Twin Pandemics Forum (Center for Arts & Humanities and Bannan Forum/Ignatian Center)—October 1-2, 2020

Our sincere thanks go out to everyone who is working to improve our climate for all. 

 

Margaret Russell                                                                                                       Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion 

Lisa A. Kloppenberg                                                                                                         Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs