Southern Illinois University Adopts New System-Wide Diversity Initiative

Southern Illinois UniversityThe board of trustees at Southern Illinois University has adopted a new system-wide diversity policy that includes student-focused initiatives, human resources personnel development, awareness building activities, and organizational development programs. President Randy Dunn stated that the new initiative was put in place so that all campuses in the system “reflect a culture that values diversity and inclusivity in all its forms.”

Among the new initiatives that will come about as a result of the board action are:

  • A signature Trustees’ lecture focusing exclusively on diversity and inclusion that will rotate among the three campuses on an annual basis.
  • A system-wide diversity or inclusivity excellence award for individuals or organizations to highlight a model of excellence created within an academic or academic support unit.
  • A partnership with social service agencies, schools, community development groups and similar organizations to support opportunities and events for students around issues of diversity and inclusion.
  • An annual system-wide student conference/summit on race, diversity and inclusion.
  • An expansion of resource support for campus-based strategic hiring programs with the goal of increasing diversity in tenure-track faculty and professional staff hires.
  • Designating a dedicated “chief diversity officer” position at the three campuses that is consistent in overall practice and scope with respect to title, tasks, duties, initiatives and placement on each campus’s organizational chart, and without added responsibilities for other administrative management functions.
  • Providing cultural competency training applicable to all organizational units or groups.
  • Buildng a campus-based “Diversity and Inclusion Online Learning Community” to provide a system-wide clearinghouse for diversity resources and tools.
  • Instituting a procedure to evaluate progress on diversity on a system-wide basis.

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