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Diversity Statement

Background

The creation of a diversity statement for PLU was part of a three-point charge that Acting President Allan Belton presented to Angie Hambrick (Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Justice, and Sustainability) and Jennifer Smith (Dean of Inclusive Excellence) at the 2018 University Conference:

  1. To craft a Diversity Statement for Pacific Lutheran University, in collaboration with the campus community,
  2. To restructure the University Diversity Committee to function more effectively and provide a structure for accountability, and
  3. To develop a four-year institutional Strategic Plan for Diversity & Inclusion–outlining objectives, goals and strategies–to be implemented in Fall 2019

Goals of Diversity Statement

  • In creating a Diversity Statement, we hope to accomplish the following:
    Outline PLU’s vision, values, and commitments to Diversity & Inclusion
  • Articulate broad measures for Diversity & Inclusion
  • Establish a tool through which to evaluate, dismantle, and create structures to achieve Diversity & Inclusion commitments
  • Acknowledge weaknesses & opportunities for growth
  • Treat Diversity Statement as a living document

Because the statement itself cannot achieve all of these goals on its own, it will be housed on the revamped Diversity & Inclusion web page (which will be completed by the end of Fall 2018). This page will also feature a strategic plan, updates on current projects, PLU milestones of Diversity & Inclusion over the years, info about the University Diversity Committee, and data–including climate surveys and current demographics. The Diversity Statement will act as the hub and the elements of the web page as the spokes that extend out and feed back into the hub.

Process

The process to develop a diversity statement began in Spring with a working group within the University Diversity Committee (UDC), with the addition of the Acting President (Allan Belton) and Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications (Lace Smith). This working group, like the UDC, had two student representatives as well as a balance of faculty and staff. Current membership of the working group:

Thank you for your investment in making PLU inclusively excellent. If you have any questions regarding the Diversity Statement, please feel free to contact the co-chairs of the UDC, Angie Hambrick (hambriaz@plu.edu) or Jen Smith (jennifer.smith@plu.edu) or any of the other members of the committee.

Angie Hambrick, Jen Smith, Lace Smith, Teri Phillips (Associate Vice President of Human Resources), Saiyare Refaei (Sustainability Coordinator), Ksenija Simic-Muller (Associate Professor of Math), Erla Champ-Gibson (Assistant Professor of Nursing), Cennady Coleman (RHA Social Justice Director), & Kenzie Gandy (ASPLU Diversity Director).

The spring group looked at Diversity Statements from other ELCA schools and local institutions. This group also looked at other PLU documents that had previously articulated values of diversity and inclusion, including the DJS Task Force report from 2014 and PLU 2020. The current draft reflects the knowledge gained from reviewing other statements and previous PLU documents as well as feedback from the broader membership of UDC.

An open forum was held on October 11th. In addition to the forum, members of the UDC are meeting with a wide variety of constituents (faculty, staff, and students) throughout the fall term to gather feedback on the draft statement.

This page is another way for you to provide your input on this important process. Below, you will find a link to the draft statement as well as a form where you can provide your thoughts anonymously. This form will remain open until Dec. 21st, 2018.

Timeline

Feedback will be collected until the end of the fall semester. Then, the working group will discuss and process this information in early Spring 2019. Revisions will be made at that time, with final approval coming from the President’s Council, which will sign off on the statement. The statement will be shared with the Board of Regents at their May meeting, at which point they will be asked for their endorsement.