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Building on the Block: Diverse and Inclusive Campus

The Charge: Each student's educational experience is richer when surrounded by talented and curious students from different backgrounds, cultures, and places. To recruit the best and brightest students, especially those who would benefit most from a CC education, we will build additional resources for financial aid; and enhance programming to promote a more inclusive and diverse campus.

What’s Happening: One main benefit of a residential liberal arts education is the capacity to model democratic community, helping students acquire the habits that will shape them long after they leave CC.  And in today’s competitive global economy, the college must be a welcoming place for people from all backgrounds.

Last spring, our efforts to become a more diverse and inclusive community took shape with the launch of The Butler Center.  The Center’s inaugural director, Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Paul Buckley, was hired following a national search.  Work continued with the creation of “The Journey to Inclusion,” a new professional development program for faculty and staff. The course had 104 participants, and the 24 people who completed the program in its entirety will receive certificates of completion. It will be offered again in the summer and next academic year.

This past fall, the Board of Trustees approved the college’s Diversity Commitment and faculty initiated the creation of the Diversity and Equity Advisory Board, while also modifying faculty search committee structure to include at least two individuals who have participated in diversity programming in each search. Later in the fall, many students, faculty, and staff participated in listening sessions to brainstorm ways to continue to improve our campus climate.

Following those sessions, President Tiefenthaler charged two leadership groups with reviewing information from the listening sessions, as well as the reports from the strategic planning action teams. Now, those groups have made recommendations about the priorities most important for the college community to address together. The student group (comprised of the leadership of The Butler Center and CCSGA) recommended two broad initiatives: diversifying the curriculum; and enhancements to the residential life experience. Similarly, the Diversity and Equity Advisory Board recommended a review of the Critical Perspectives courses in the curriculum, as well as recommending new initiatives for recruiting faculty and staff. The Butler Center has begun to work with colleagues in Student Life on enhancements to the residential experience.

In order to implement these recommendations, the college added new funding to The Butler Center for next year. For more details on our progress in these areas, please visit: Diversity at CC; Diversity and Equity Advisory Board, and The Butler Center.

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