Diversity and Global Engagement

Themes and action steps

1) Theme: Students, faculty and staff should all feel part of the community at Elon and we should respond to acts that limit inclusion and belonging.

Action: We created new bias, discrimination and harassment procedures and trained education and response teams. We created two new positions related to this work, in Human Resources to investigate claims of harassment and discrimination and a university wide position coordinating our inclusive campus climate efforts.

2) Theme: Develop coordinated efforts across campus and commitment from senior leadership.

Action: Created the Presidential Diversity Council, the diversity and global engagement committee of the long range planning committee, and the Bias and Discrimination Council. Merged all three into one Inclusive Community Council. Senior Staff created a vision for diversity and global engagement as well as personal and organizational Themes under this Theme. Created Associate Provost for Inclusive Community position. Created identity based support and education for areas not already covered and now have that support for all major areas of human difference.

3) Theme: Create more opportunities for student expression on campus.

Action: Removed registration for student protests that do not include amplification and outside groups.  Student life committee is examining the posting policy.

4) Theme: Develop clear plan for diversity and global engagement.

Action: Created university wide diversity and global engagement strategic plan. Divisions and units created their own plans. Plans were discussed in forums across campus. Diversity has been the topic of three Numen Lumen sessions, numerous public campus wide forum discussions, focus groups and online feedback opportunities and campus surveys.

5) Theme: Support LGBTQIA students and colleagues and create campus resources on sexual and gender identity.

Action: Created LGBTQIA resource room, Allies program, Gender and LGBTQIA Center and Director and formed LGBTQIA Presidential Task Force.

6) Theme: Direct financial resources to Theme One.

Action: Theme one is the most expensive priority in the strategic plan. A few examples, we built a Numen Lumen Pavilion as a several million-dollar structural commitment to religious diversity as well as a financial commitment to the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture. The University is making an $80 million decade long commitment to our first generation and low-income merit scholarship programs and invested in a space for the Center for Access and Success. We invested $500,000 in three years in an opportunity fund to increase faculty diversity. We  created several new positions: An assistant director of Human Resources, a coordinator of university wide bias and discrimination teams, a director of the domestic study away efforts, an Associate Director for the Watson/Odyssey Scholars Program, an assistant director in the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education, a new position in Latin American recruitment and an Associate Provost for Inclusive Community.

7) Theme: Examination hiring protocols and increase representational diversity in faculty, staff and senior leadership.

Action: Elon adjusted our hiring protocols across campus with an increased focus on the diversity of the applicant pool.
Increased faculty from diverse backgrounds (international colleagues and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups on campus) campus from 9% to 14% and staff from 18% to 22% over three years.
Created a new position in Human Resources to address strategic hiring at Elon.
Discussed ways to expand perspectives on the senior staff including an executive intern program and an Associate Provost for Inclusive Community position who is a member of the senior staff.

8) Theme: Create long-term leadership for this agenda.

Action: Created Associate Provost for Inclusive Community position to serve on Senior Staff. Created designated leadership for support and education around all major constructs of human difference including disabilities, gender and sexuality, geographic background and national origin, race and ethnicity, religious and worldview and socioeconomic status.

9) Theme: We have world-class teachers at Elon, but we need more focus on creating a classroom environment inclusive of everyone.

Action: We created a new inclusive classroom website and are hosting facilitated conversations as part of ongoing work about inclusive pedagogy. One of the three major foci of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning is inclusive classrooms and universal course design. New faculty orientation efforts also highlights these skills. See more here http://www.elon.edu/e-web/academics/teaching/inclusive%20classrooms/default.xhtml.

10) Theme: Impact all our students in the curriculum with student learning outcomes related to diversity.

Action: Our first winter term theme around difference was launched in winter 2013 and we have continued with that theme. Conversations are happening all around campus specific to multi section courses and in individual departments. Other teams are exploring dialogue pedagogy concepts for small and large campus groups. Please check out our diversity infusion grants to see all the ways that faculty are infusing diversity into their courses: http://www.elon.edu/e-web/academics/teaching/diversity.xhtml or the diversity course database to see course offerings across campus: http://www.elon.edu/e-web/students/diversity/CourseDatabase.xhtml or the ways that diversity is part of the Elon Core Curriculum: http://www.elon.edu/e-web/academics/core_curriculum/default.xhtml

11) Theme: Hold each other accountable for the diversity Themes in this document.

Action: All supervisory staff report their professional development Themes related to Theme one in performance evaluations. All academic departments and units on campus tie their plans in with the Elon Strategic plan including theme one with examples of possible activities in hiring, curriculum, pedagogy, retention efforts, departmental communications etc. Diversity plans university wide are posted at http://www.elon.edu/e-web/administration/president/strategicplan2020/diversity/diversity_plans.xhtml.

We value your perspectives in making Elon better. There are inherent and perhaps constant tensions in this work and also in the feedback we hear from campus and consultants. We acknowledge those tensions and will continue to navigate conflicting feedback in our work with a goal of continuing our work on the forever unfinished project of inclusive excellence. Please contact Brooke Barnett, Interim Associate Provost for Inclusive Community at bbarnett@elon.edu, to share your feedback.