Diversity and Inclusion Update, September 2018

Posted on 9/18/2018 4:33:36 PM

Welcome back to another exciting semester, fresh with opportunity to work together to foster a more diverse and inclusive IUP community.

With the advent of the 2018–19 academic year, the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion shifts its focus to monitoring and assessing the implementation of the recommendations that comprise IUP’s Diversity Action Plan. The commission is pleased to report that the IUP community is currently implementing some of these recommendations while planning how to implement others.

Reporting Incidents of Concern

Following the Council of Trustees’ support for the Diversity Action Plan at its March 2018 meeting, and under the leadership of President Michael Driscoll, each university division is formulating action steps to address the recommendations. This summer a work group of faculty, staff, and students (both graduate and undergraduate) appointed by President Driscoll developed a process for reporting incidents of concern. The workgroup noted that “every person has the right to be heard, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania takes campus concerns and complaints very seriously.” The reporting form is located on the Office of Social Equity website. Every IUP web page contains a link to this form. The Office of Social Equity will provide an initial response to reports made through this form within 24 hours and will coordinate long-term responses to all reports received.

Developing an IUP Pledge

In addition, a commission subcommittee is leading the development of an IUP Diversity and Inclusion Pledge, an aspirational statement which will affirm how all members of the IUP community pledge to conduct themselves and treat one another. This semester, members of the subcommittee will engage faculty, staff, and students in providing input on the development of the pledge with the goal of unveiling it at the start of the spring 2019 semester. You are encouraged to provide your feedback at any time by sending an e-mail to diversity-inclusion@iup.edu. Please get involved and make your voice heard!

Exploring Use of an Ombudsperson

A fall semester work group has also been formed to explore the use of an ombudsperson to assist members of the IUP community in resolving disputes informally as they arise. Please stay tuned for progress on this initiative as the semester progresses.

Reporting Your Diversity and Inclusion Activities

It takes everyone’s involvement and commitment to ensure that we’re capturing, publicizing, and celebrating all of the excellent diversity-and-inclusion-related activities that occur at IUP. As your division, office/area, or recognized student organization sponsors diversity and inclusion-related programs, events, activities, professional development, recognition of students and employees, review of policies and procedures, etc., it is critical that you report these initiatives to the Office of Social Equity by e-mailing social-equity@iup.edu. Together we need to develop one virtual location where we can share and learn about diversity and inclusion-related opportunities at IUP. Please keep the IUP community promptly informed!

Getting Involved

Finally, the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion welcomes your direct involvement by serving on one of the commission’s subcommittees. If you are interested in getting involved, please e-mail diversity-inclusion@iup.edu and provide your name and contact information. Don’t hesitate to become a partner in a year of forward movement translating the Diversity Action Plan into real change.