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Next steps toward strengthening our community

December 10, 2015

Dear CC Community,

The last month has been difficult. Violence rocked the world and our city. Racist incidents and calls for making campuses more inclusive sprang up at colleges across the country. Hateful messages have shown up in our own community with racist Yik Yak posts.

During these times, it’s more important than ever that we engage in dialogue — which in turn creates a strong and supportive community — and then take action. Those conversations and next steps are already happening at CC. As we work together toward greater understanding and respect for one another, I would like to see each member of our campus community engage in this effort.

Here are some of the ways we are moving forward:

  • The student-led forum on Nov. 16 made it very clear how racism has hurt our community. Many students, faculty, and staff have continued the conversation by participating in open dialogue circles and a follow-up forum organized by CCSGA on Sunday night. More dialogue circles and forums are planned for Half Block and the spring semester.
  • In Block 5, we will announce a new program to encourage students, faculty, and staff to meet in small groups for meaningful discussion.
  • The Excel@CC professional development program continues to enhance employee understanding of these issues. Since its inception, 140 CC staff members have participated in the Good to Great: Journey to Inclusion program.
  • Over the next two years, as part of the college’s re-accreditation review, the academic deans will work with students, faculty, the Diversity and Equity Advisory Board, the Crown Faculty Center, and the Butler Center to implement "Diversity and Inclusion: The Promise of a Liberal Arts Education." The initiative, already approved by the North Central Higher Learning Commission, will address three key areas: student admission and faculty hiring and retention; all-college curriculum requirements; and fostering inclusivity and the exchange of multiple perspectives inside and outside the classroom.
  • In the spring, each division will be asked to review its commitment to inclusion, as well as the policies and procedures that support these efforts. I will continue to include this as one of the key goals for annual evaluations of the college's leadership team.
  • I have asked Dean of the College/Dean of the Faculty Sandi Wong and Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students Mike Edmonds to create a Student Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, which will include a representative from CC Alumni and Students of Color (CCASCA). This new group will work with the faculty and staff who serve on the Diversity and Equity Advisory Board to enact specific initiatives in the spring semester.

As I noted in my remarks at the student-led forum, our commitment to inclusivity is essential to delivering on our mission of providing the finest liberal arts education. Please join me as we put renewed, positive energy into this important work.