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Diversity study provides recommendations

May 8, 2015

A diversity and inclusion climate study has resulted in four initial recommendations that would help build an environment of inclusive excellence at Indiana State University, said Dr. Gerda Govine, the diversity consultant who conducted the study released Thursday.

Since last November, Govine has conducted interviews with 123 individuals from the campus and the broader Terre Haute community. An additional 58 people participated in focus group discussions. Govine also reviewed reports on previous climate studies and diversity efforts at Indiana State, and she and members of the university's Diversity Task Force conducted site visits of best practices at four other universities.

"I took away from these interviews a strong desire on behalf of both campus and community members to find ways to work together to create a living, learning and working environment that is welcoming to all. I believe this is possible by becoming more intentional in our efforts, developing short-term and long-term initiatives and monitoring their progress while utilizing a broadened definition of diversity," Govine said.

"This is an extremely important issue for Indiana State and our community at large," said Indiana State President Dan Bradley. "It impacts our students' ability to succeed as well as the ability of the higher ed community and local businesses to attract and retain great employees. I look forward to working with other campus and community leaders to advance these efforts."

The initial recommendations are:

• Replace the Office of Diversity with a centralized "Inclusive Excellence Training and Research Center (IETC)." The center would provide inclusive excellence training to students, faculty and staff, serve as an education venue for community members, and promote academic-community partnerships to study and advance inclusive excellence.

• Organize an inclusive excellence team model that includes an individual who represents inclusive excellence at the cabinet level. The advisory board for the IETC and the IETC director would serve as an implementation team for both short-term and long-term initiatives. The current President's Council on Diversity would be reconfigured as the President's Council on Inclusive Excellence and would serve as the auditing body for the work of the IETC. The Council would also write the annual report on diversity required by Indiana law.

• Develop a shared financial responsibility model for inclusive excellence measures. The model would disperse funding to units across campus to advance inclusive excellence. Each unit would report on how these funds were utilized and detail the progress achieved on an annual basis.

• Create an annual President's Award for Inclusive Excellence. The award would recognize outstanding efforts to advance the University's inclusive excellence goals.

The full report is available at: https://cms.indstate.edu/sites/default/files/media/Documents/PDF/Diversity%20and%20Inclusion%20Climate%20Study.pdf.

More information on inclusive excellence is available at: https://www.aacu.org/programs-partnerships/making-excellence-inclusive.

Bradley indicated that feedback on the report and initial recommendations would be solicited from now through August after which decisions and implementation of approved recommendations would begin. Individuals who would like to provide feedback on ways the university can advance its diversity and inclusive excellence goals can do so at: https://indstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eyP4lXuJLpn3keF.

Media contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

 

 

 

 

Story Highlights

A diversity and inclusion climate study has resulted in four initial recommendations that would help build an environment of inclusive excellence at Indiana State University, said Dr. Gerda Govine, the diversity consultant who conducted the study

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