Strategic Action Plan for Diversity & Inclusion

An essential aspect of any action plan is its assessment process. The University Diversity Committee is dedicated to evaluating and updating our Strategic Action Plan on a regular basis, and the conclusion of the 2021-2022 academic year marks the end of the “short-term” phase, the first 1.5 years of the plan. Here, therefore, we present updates on progress made since the plan was implemented in Spring 2021.

We recognize that achieving a truly inclusive community is an aspirational goal, one that requires constant attention as the community evolves and new challenges are revealed. The 2014 Presidential Task Force Report on Diversity described the challenges of diversity, equity and inclusion as particularly resistant to solutions, in part because,

Attempting to solve [them] leads to the discovery of other problems. … This is why the work of diversity and inclusion in an organization is never truly concluded. It is an on-going initiative, requiring dedication, commitment and effort at all levels, across departments and disciplines, and throughout every sector of the community.”[1]

While we also acknowledge, therefore, we have made considerable progress on short term goals and have even addressed several intermediate goals, there are some short term goals that have yet to be tackled and that will need to be re-evaluated or moved in to the next phase.  We will continue to monitor and evaluate, and develop programming, education, and actions that will help SLU become the diverse and inclusive community for which we strive.

In this report, an update for each action or goal is presented as “Summer 2022 update.”  The actions listed below are meant to serve as an example and not as an exhaustive list of every event, program, or action that has taken place.

The Strategic Action Plan is organized around five themes:

  1. Cultivate an inclusive community university-wide
  2. Expand the diversity of our community with bold recruitment efforts
  3. Foster a campus culture of inclusion by improving retention
  4. Infuse diversity and inclusion throughout the curricular and co-curricular programs
  5. Connect community members across different social identities

We describe each of the themes below, and include a quotation tying the plan to the University Diversity Statement. For each theme, three levels of interventions are proposed:

  • Short-term: Actions that can likely be undertaken within the next 1 to 1.5 years
  • Intermediate-term: Actions that can likely be undertaken within the next 2-3 years
  • Long-term: Actions that can be undertaken within the next 4-5 years.

Overall success of this plan will be assessed via a Campus Climate Survey to be conducted during 2022-2023 academic year, with short-term assessments for each theme outlined after each section.

Our ultimate goal is to press forward, one step at a time, and build upon our successes while addressing the challenges we encounter. We are committed to remaining open and optimistic as community members share their experiences and present ideas for solutions.

[1] 2014 Report of the Presidential Commission On Diversity: Where We Are, Where We Want To Be, & How We Will Get There, p. 2.

Last Updated: November 2022