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 Tuesday, February 12, 2008 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Diversity, Excellence and Inclusion: Cornerstones of Flagship 2030
Sallye McKee, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement

Our Flagship 2030 strategic plan boldly asserts that "By 2030 CU-Boulder will be a model for the nation in applying best practices in support of diversity and inclusive excellence." There's an old aphorism, "time brings about a change." The new Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE pronounced "Odyssey") is a prime example of how time and new leadership are bringing in new ideas for working and thinking about how we must enhance our current ways of coming together to achieve inclusive excellence. ODECE is charged to provide meaningful change through campus-wide leadership that will bolster CU-Boulder's current commitment to diversity. Key elements of ODECE's specific charge include enhancing and expanding program offerings while engaging and leading faculty, staff, students and external campus constituencies in initiatives and programs that support diversity in all of its forms.

When our campus diversity experts share information with me on ideas about how to improve our diversity agenda, I listen. Recently, co-chairs of the Chancellor's Committee on Women (CCW) Terri Stankiewicz of Facilities Management and Professor Joanne Belknap reminded me that "CU is fortunate to have wonderful people and organizations currently in place across campus that work well independently and collaboratively to address campus challenges related to diversity." I could not have said it better. Terri and Joanne encouraged me to listen to and work with all of them. Indeed, these two professionals, like many of the other dedicated volunteer members of the Chancellor's Committee on Minority Affairs (CACMA); Chancellor's Standing Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues Advisory (GLBT); and Program Accessibility Committee (PAC) have a longstanding history of advocacy for our diverse communities. The work and accomplishments of these committees are fundamental to ODECE's goal to build greater institutional capacity. As the new vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement, I welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with these dedicated campus professionals.

The cooperative efforts of CACMA have ensured continuous community-based planning for and participation in events such as the upcoming 13th Annual Diversity Summit. This event is a fine example of an institutionalized campus-wide collaborative effort that offers an array of thought-provoking sessions featuring prominent local and national speakers. In preparation for the summit, CACMA worked in partnership with ODECE to present the first Chancellor's Lecture Series speaker. The 2008 keynote speaker will be Holocaust survivor Gerda Klein, who will speak at 10 a.m. on Feb. 19 in the UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom. ODECE encourages faculty, staff and students to attend this year's summit.

Our vision for inclusive excellence requires all of us working together to advance our shared goals. I am working collaboratively at the highest levels of campus leadership with each of the vice chancellors on a daily basis. I am honored to serve on Chancellor Peterson's cabinet where my role is to ensure that diversity-related issues are key considerations in budgetary, administrative, academic and governance decisions. This level of cabinet participation is new for our campus and follows a national trend among peer institutions throughout the nation.

Given this overall charge, what types of positive initial changes does ODECE want to facilitate for our campus? For starters, the staff in ODECE seeks to work closely with faculty, staff and students across the five divisions to develop pragmatic plans and initiatives that will enhance and expand our campus-wide infrastructures, practices and resources to best support faculty, staff and student success. Additionally, ODECE will work to enhance the university's community and civic engagement in Boulder and throughout Colorado. When CU-Boulder accomplishes these outcomes there will probably be little need for ODECE. In the meantime it will take all of us working respectfully and creatively together to accomplish our bold and necessary diversity imperatives.

As suggested by longtime faculty and staff members Joanne and Terri, ODECE needs and wants to hear your ideas as we build a new office and develop strategic plans. Toward that end we sponsor our weekly Friday afternoon Open House sessions, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the third floor of Regent (free popcorn is available). Additionally, Professor Patricia Rankin has planned a set of workshops on recruitment and retention of diverse faculty featuring JoAnn Moody, national diversity consultant and part time director of the Northeast Consortium for Faculty Diversity. These workshops are scheduled for Feb. 25 and 26, 2008 and are open to tenured/tenure track faculty and deans. For registration information, please contact ODECE directly at (303) 735-1332.

One of our first big campus-wide events is the development of a retreat to assess longstanding institutional accomplishments and to outline specific goals in the key areas of student/faculty/staff success and community engagement. ODECE is working in partnership with the Office of the Provost to launch this important effort and will send out campus announcements in the near future.

Finally, like any worthy challenge, diversity is hard work and I need and welcome your help, collective wisdom and best constructive advice and support. Over the past few months I have developed a great appreciation for the open-minded leadership of those engaged in the work of diversity on campus, and I look forward to planning and working together to accomplish our strategic goals of becoming a model for our nation in achieving diversity through the consistent practice of inclusive excellence.

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13th Annual Diversity Summit offers a range of perspectives

New campus architect oversees growth of historic magnitude

Black Student Alliance stresses community, collaboration

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Diversity, Excellence and Inclusion: Cornerstones of Flagship 2030

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