University Advancement Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Plan
Updated October 2021
In the spring of 2021, the University released its Strategic Action Plan for Diversity & Inclusion to the Laurentian community. In this plan, divisions and departments were called to draft their own diversity, equity, and inclusion plans with support from the University Diversity Committee.
The Diversity Committee’s call to action comes at an opportune time for University Advancement (UA). We have already taken steps in recent years to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion, including (but not limited to) establishing a fund for a LGBTQIA+ speaker series; initiating the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Across Laurentians (IDEAL) initiative in fall 2018 to expand involvement in the Laurentian network; expanding career networking and mentoring opportunities for Laurentians of Color, International Laurentians, and LGBTQIA+ Laurentians through identity-based groups on the Laurentian Connection platform; facilitating a Diversity and Inclusion webinar series, which hosted four programs in the 2020-2021 academic year; and forming a UA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee in summer 2020 to facilitate discussions around how our programming, fundraising, and processes can best reflect the University’s mission, vision, and goals around these important issues. These efforts have laid a good foundation for the future.
With this call from the SLU Diversity Committee, UA will be more intentional about our work in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion and more transparent with the actions we will strive to accomplish over the coming year (August 2021 – July 2022). UA is in a unique position as we work with our internal team (UA staff) as well as the broader Laurentian community of alumni, parents, and friends. Our plan looks to address both groups of constituents.
Our Action Plan
The University’s Strategic Action Plan for Diversity & Inclusion is organized around five themes:
- Cultivate an inclusive community university-wide;
- Expand the diversity of our community with bold recruitment efforts;
- Foster a campus culture of inclusion by improving retention;
- Infuse diversity and inclusion throughout the curricular and co-curricular programs; and
- Connect community members across different social identities.
University Advancement has adapted these five themes to apply more specifically to our Division’s work.
Cultivate an inclusive and dynamic workplace and Laurentian community in which all staff, alumni, parents, and friends, from a wide array of positionalities, identities and backgrounds, can work together collaboratively across all areas of the University.
- Implement new Onboarding program as developed by UA Onboarding Committee in FY21 to successfully onboard new UA employees and introduce the employee to UA culture, DEI-related resources, institutional knowledge, and expectations through a series of orientation meetings and mentorship program
- Finalize and establish a UA Dress & Appearance policy to provide clarity on expectations of professional presentation while asserting our values of diversity, equity and inclusion, in alignment with the University’s non-discrimination policy. This project was initiated by the UA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee during FY21.
- Complete evaluation & adjustment of UA’s use of gendered honorific titles in addressing alumni, parents and friends
Expand the presence of individuals from underrepresented social identity groups within Advancement and volunteer bodies through intentional recruitment efforts and specific funding & support opportunities.
- Enhance UA’s participation in the Diversity Advocates program, in which Diversity Advocates have received training designed to explore ways to increase the diversity of candidate pools, and volunteer to serve on search committees
- Explore how UA’s various fundraising initiatives can strengthen financial support for enhancing diversity, equity & inclusion at St. Lawrence
- Help ensure all students have equitable access to apply for UA student worker positions by creating a UA procedure for submitting vacant positions to the Financial Aid office through their formal process
Foster the development of a divisional workplace climate in which every member can thrive and flourish while contributing to the mission and goals of Advancement; contribute to University-wide efforts to Foster the same in campus culture.
- Amplify the work being done in UA & across campus related to D&I so all UA staff are aware and, when appropriate, can participate in opportunities/activities
- Continue and expand opportunities for staff training & development in the areas of diversity, equity & inclusion
- Foster visual inclusivity & representation through more diverse artwork and images in UA common work spaces
- Utilize UA knowledge and resources to support DEI-related work throughout the University
Infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion in internal and external programs and initiatives so that we provide staff and the Laurentian community continued learning and growth experiences.
- Ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion has a division-wide presence through UA all-staff meetings and retreats
- Diversify voices featured in UA all-staff meetings
- Encourage each UA staff member to participate in DEI-related activities, including on-campus and virtual options, to be identified and communicated throughout the year
- Continue and enhance UA Diversity & Inclusion Reading Group, which was established in June 2020 by Laurentian Engagement to facilitate growth and learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion through reading and guided discussions for interested staff
- Continue facilitating the Diversity and Inclusion webinar series, which hosted four programs in the 2020-2021 academic year
Connect staff and Laurentians across social identities through intentional events and efforts to gain new perspectives and develop meaningful relationships.
- Continue next phase of activities related to the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Across Laurentians (IDEAL) initiative to expand involvement in the Laurentian network
- Continue to support career networking and mentoring opportunities for Laurentians of Color, International Laurentians, and LGBTQIA+ Laurentians through identity-based groups on the Laurentian Connection platform
- Aim, whenever possible, to include D&I considerations in decision-making for event locations, such as physical accessibility, non-discrimination policies for patrons, etc., to ensure that all Laurentians feel welcomed and included at UA-sponsored events