President Kennedy asks AVP for Diversity and Inclusion to establish a Diversity Council

Dear Campus Community:

As the memo below indicates, University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy has asked Dr. Sandra Mitchell, Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, to establish a diversity council and for the council to take a lead on in a number of specific actions.

DATE: September 29, 2016

TO: Sandra Mitchell, Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
FROM: President Mark Kennedy
RE: Diversity Advisory Council Charter letter dated September 15, 2016
CC: Thomas DiLorenzo, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Laurie Betting, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs

Thank you for your willingness to form a diversity advisory council to provide recommendations for improving our collective campus climate to more fully embrace our core value of being inclusive and welcoming.

Specific to the composition of the diversity advisory council I would ask that you limit the size to no more than 12 individuals in order to facilitate engagement and action from the council.  Please note this does not in any way limit your ability to involve and engage the larger campus through other means other than council membership.

I would like you to provide me with a list of those individuals you feel are knowledgeable and interested in issues of diversity and inclusion and committed to creating and implementing policies and projects to move our campus forward.  Please provide that information to me no later than October 3.  I will act promptly and send out letters of invitation with a quick turnaround so as to allow you to convene this council as soon as possible.

I would ask you to explicitly focus your initial attention on the following items:

1) Complete inventories of existing campus diversity and inclusion practices and programs with a specific focus on essential studies that qualify under the diversity requirement.  Please seek to assess whether the courses have actually changed attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.
2) Identify best practices to enhance our understanding of diversity and inclusion in the higher educational setting.
3) Based upon our current programs/practices and identified best practices, please provide me with a list of recommendations to consider for our campus.  Please include recommendations for implementation of those practices and programs as well as how we determine effectiveness and learning outcomes.  I would like this work completed and provided to me in a report no later than December 15, 2016.

Your role as Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion is one of administrative leadership to serve in advancing our institution’s diversity and inclusion.  I know you join me in being fully committed to creating a campus where we all feel safe and welcomed.  Thank you in advance for the important work that you are undertaking.