July 8, 2020
Dear CU Boulder students, faculty and staff:
Chancellor Phil DiStefano announced yesterday that he has asked me and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE) team to lead the implementation of the actions for change on anti-racism, diversity, inclusion, equity and campus climate he announced on June 18.
First, you have my pledge that this work will be undertaken with urgency and energy, and with my focus set firmly on results that transform and improve our campus community. In this process, I will be accountable to our campus leadership; the Chancellor, Provost Russell Moore and Interim COO Patrick O’Rourke will be accountable to you; and as a community we will be accountable to each other.
Second, on behalf of ODECE, I would like to endorse the statement issued yesterday by Chancellor DiStefano, President Kennedy and the other CU campus chancellors declaring their support for our international undergraduate and graduate students.
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE) is coordinating diversity efforts with key partners on campus, including student groups through our Center for Inclusion and Social Change (CISC), implementing the Inclusion, Diversity and Excellence in Academics (IDEA) Plan, supporting the Center for Teaching and Learning’s efforts to organize Inclusive Communities of Practice dialogues, planning the fall 2020 diversity summit, and partnering with CU Boulder’s Office of Human Resources (HR) to offer diversity and inclusive excellence professional development this fall, among many other efforts with units across our campus.
We are, as indicated, immediately taking the lead on implementing the actions for change that Chancellor DiStefano announced on June 18. Over the past two weeks, I have communicated with each of the responsive units of the eight actions for change (listed below). Last week, I convened representatives, and we have begun to take immediate next steps.
1. Update and enhance our faculty and staff hiring practices to achieve greater representation and opportunities for persons of color in our community and to better express the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion to all who would consider becoming part of our university.
Ownership: This effort is a partnership between the Office of Faculty Affairs, Human Resources and ODECE.
2. Update and enhance our student recruitment and retention policies and practices.
Ownership: This will be a partnership among our Enrollment Management team, our colleges and schools, including the Graduate School, the United Government of Graduate Students, The Office of Strategic Relations and Communications and ODECE.
3. Implement mandatory bystander training for faculty, staff and students.
Ownership: This will be a joint effort between Human Resources, Center for Teaching and Learning,and the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance and will build on the considerable experience and expertise of these departments in this area.
4. Engage with the CU System and CU Student Government in examining our procurement practices with Colorado Correctional Industries.
Ownership: This will be a partnership among ODECE, the Center for Inclusion and Social Change and the Division of Student Affairs, working with the above two entities.
5. Complete a review of our campus police policies and procedures to align with best community and campus practices, including the protections contained within SB20-217.
Ownership: This will be a joint effort between Senior Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Assessment Katherine Eggert, who oversees campus policies that connect to state policies and the Laws of the Regents, and Associate Vice Chancellor Dan Jones in our Office of Integrity, Safety and Compliance, which oversees the CU Police Department.
6. Charge CU Boulder faculty with leading the effort to develop a CU 101 anti-racism module for first-year students that explores the toxicity of racism in U.S. history, U.S. life and at CU Boulder and delves into ways to act against it in our daily lives on and off campus.
Ownership: This will be a partnership among ODECE, the Office of Undergraduate Education, and the colleges and schools, faculty..
7. Continue engagement between CU Police Department, CU Student Government, United Government of Graduate Students, and student organizations of color to improve mutual understanding and law enforcement transparency and accountability to the campus.
Ownership: This will be a partnership among the Office of Integrity, Safety and Compliance, ODECE and the Division of Student Affairs.
8. Form the Council for Community and Inclusion recommended in the IDEA Plan and begin implementation. In the coming days, I will announce the membership and convening schedule of the Council for Community and Inclusion, a comprehensive and representative campus-wide working group that will guide the implementation of the IDEA Plan.
Ownership: I will be leading the Council for Community and Inclusion, with support from faculty and staff co-chairs and an executive steering group composed of members of the council.
As we move ahead on these and other important measures, I will keep the campus informed on progress, key changes and opportunities for engagement. By Aug. 21, I will provide the chancellor with a complete update on our immediate actions for change, including recommendations on when and where we can work as a campus leadership team to identify and prioritize the resources needed to accelerate and advance these efforts. As our efforts and updates continue, you can use the ODECE website to find key resources to support your individual work, and other CU community activities, on anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion.
I look forward to working with you to make excellence inclusive. If you have questions or would like to share input and remain directly engaged in our work moving forward, I encourage you to connect with our team at ODECE@colorado.edu.
Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement