Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
I write to announce that the Task Force on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Final Report is now available to Seattle University students, faculty and staff and can be found here. Let me briefly share some of my thoughts on the context of this report and its value and importance to all of us.
Seattle University has a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Diversity is one of the six core values we espouse as part of our mission. Two and a half years ago, the university convened the Task Force on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence in order to assess the current state of diversity on campus and recommend ways to build upon previous work by the university to more fully live out this core value.
The task force has met regularly since September 2013. A key component of its work was the commissioning of the campus climate survey administered last winter. The input that the campus community shared in the survey and through other channels was critical in guiding the task force’s work. Representing the diverse voices of our campus community, the final report serves as a road map for the university’s ongoing efforts, including a number of new recommendations to be undertaken and many others that have long been underway. Six goals, accompanied by corresponding initiatives, are identified in the document:
- Realize an organizational infrastructure that embeds inclusive excellence in all aspects of the Seattle University experience
- Integrate inclusive excellence across curricular and co-curricular offerings
- Build and sustain the capacity of students, staff, and faculty to engage, teach and lead through an inclusive excellence lens
- Meet the challenges and opportunities of recruiting and graduating a diverse student body
- Meet the challenges and opportunities of recruiting and retaining talented faculty and staff
- Maximize the university’s capacity for social change in the local community
I encourage you to read the report in its entirety as this informative and enlightening document will help us all move forward in the weeks, months and years ahead to become an even more diverse, welcoming and caring institution. I think we can all agree that diversity and inclusiveness go to the heart of who we are and who we aspire to be as a university and greatly enhance the educational and work experience for everyone.
My deep thanks goes out to the members of the task force for the outstanding work on this report. The task force has provided invaluable insight into the learning, working and living environment on campus for students, faculty and staff. I am also grateful to the wider campus community for engaging with this important effort.
As the report indicates, we have made strides in recent years to strengthen diversity and inclusion on this campus, but there is much work yet to be done in our pursuit of inclusive excellence. It will be important for our campus community to work together as we seek to move forward as best we can on the initiatives outlined in the report. I look forward to reporting back to you soon about next steps and the key initiatives we will look to implement in the near and long term. I am grateful for your continued support of, and participation in, this important work.
Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.