Dear Salem College students, faculty, and staff,
I am very pleased to announce that we will launch a new council this semester: the College Council on Diversity and Inclusion. I thank former co-chairs of the Committee on Community Dean Calovini and Professor Dunn for working with me to design the new council.
According to an announcement from the College administration at that time, the Committee on Community was established in May of 2009 to “serve as a planning committee to work toward greater inclusivity and appreciation of difference in our community.” It has met regularly ever since to hear the concerns of our students and has been responsible for many positive initiatives and programs. I am grateful to the members of the committee for their diligence and their hard work for over eight years. This work is not done. The co-chairs and I agree that the College Council on Diversity and Inclusion will continue the work of the Committee on Community, but it will also occupy an expanded position by having more tangible responsibilities and by serving in an advisory capacity to the administration.
The Council on Diversity and Inclusion will be responsible for recommending an institution-wide action plan that will align with the College Strategic Plan with the goal of protecting against bias and discrimination, fostering diversity, and promoting inclusiveness throughout the community. It will meet at least once a month during the academic year and, when a new Strategic Plan is in place, will propose an action plan that dovetails with the Strategic Plan. When that work has been completed, the Council will begin the implementation and assessment of the action plan.
Like the Committee on Community, the membership of the College Council on Diversity and Inclusion will include students, faculty, and administrators. It is our plan to include representatives from the student multicultural and diversity organizations among the students on the council. Faculty with a demonstrated commitment to inclusiveness and administrators whose offices work closely with our students and campus community on issues of diversity, inclusiveness, and compliance will be invited to serve.
I am very much looking forward to seeing the work of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion begin and to working with the members of the Council to promote a spirit of diversity and inclusiveness throughout the Salem College campus.
D. E. Lorraine Sterritt, PhD