Input on Diversity Action Plan

April 21, 2010

To: Campus Community
From: Paul Zingg, President
Subj: Input on Diversity Action Plan

In my April 8th e-mail I mentioned a draft diversity action plan for our campus. I am pleased to let you know that this document is now up on the Office of Diversity Web site (pdf). Feedback from you is not only encouraged, it is essential. As events over the past couple of weeks have brought home, all of us have much to learn and accomplish to make our campus community a more respectful and welcoming place for all who live, work, study and visit here.

Over the past few years, as the University was in the process of being reaccredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), diversity was a major area of campus assessment and evaluation. Diversity was identified as one of the main focuses of our self-study analysis, and we asked the WASC Visiting Team throughout the WASC process to evaluate our plans and progress with respect to diversity. Their response was laudatory in many ways and challenging in others.  In essence, we have made great progress in some areas, we have made minimal progress in other areas and we have made no progress in yet other areas. The diversity action plan presented to you is an outgrowth of the productive self-study, discourse and findings that were part of our very positive WASC reaccreditation.

The title of the diversity action plan is “To Form a More Inclusive Learning Community,” which could not be more appropriate or more timely. It reflects one of the statements of values in our Strategic Plan, namely, “We pursue diversity not just as an idea to embrace, but as a community to form.”  That is, we place diversity at the core of our mission, vision and priorities.  Diversity is crucial to our aspirations for institutional distinction and quality and to the richness of our community.  The vitality and character of our University in many ways depend upon how we embrace the diversity of our members and ensure their sense of belonging and contribution.

The draft plan includes eight priorities as a means to bring about further institutional awareness, understanding and action.  The priorities are grouped within four areas: Access and Success; Education and Scholarship; Intergroup Relations and Campus Climate; and Institutional Vitality and Viability. The report is primarily conceptual in scope, with implementation to follow through the work of groups which will be charged to identify more specifically the strategies and steps to employ in addressing the priorities.  We invite suggestions about such steps now as part of the feedback process.

Once again, I hope you will take time to review the Diversity Action Plan at the site linked above and send your comments, questions, and suggestions via e-mail to diversityactionplan@csuchico.edu. Please try to respond by May 31 so we can review and incorporate your recommendations this summer.

I am very grateful to the 12 members of the Diversity Scorecard Committee who have produced this draft plan. They are listed on page four of the report. They follow the work over many years of untold students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members who also strive for diversity as a feature of our institutional excellence. This must be an effort that we all can embrace—and I will do everything I can to facilitate that. Your feedback about the draft diversity plan is a valuable next step as we work towards distinction as an inclusive learning community.