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Update from the Dean of Diversity and Inclusion

January 30, 2017

  • Douglas K. Newell Professor of Teaching Excellence and Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Janet Steverson

Only one month in, 2017 promises to be a year of challenge and opportunity. I will be facing those challenges and making the most of those opportunities from my new office in Templeton 257A, at the base of the circular stairs. Bruce Taft (program manager), Iona Musgnung (our graduate assistant), and I will share that space and welcome your visits. I can also be found at my old office at the law school, LRC 321.

The most pressing diversity and inclusion effort underway right now is the upcoming Communicating Across Cultures and Differences forums on February 16 and February 18, presented by StirFry Seminars & Consulting and sponsored by the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, the provost’s office, Campus Activities Board, and the law school diversity committee.

Faculty, staff, and students from all three campus are strongly encouraged to register for one of the two identical seminars. Not sure you can spend an afternoon—or part of a Saturday, no less!—on this work? Let me convince you why it’s worth it:

  • This is a rare opportunity for students, faculty, and staff from all three schools to dialogue and learn together, as equals. This is an academic institution at its best.

  • You are making an investment in yourself and in Lewis & Clark. Learning these skills will make you a better student, teacher, worker, friend, partner, and human.

  • This work takes time. It takes more than a 30-minute webinar to dig in and do the hard work of reframing our perceptions and learning to truly listen and respond. In fact, this work takes more than four hours, but four hours will give you a good foundation upon which to build.

  • You are encouraged to do this work. The idea is for as many people as possible to participate. As an institution, we are saying that attending one of these seminars is a priority for our entire community. It is such a priority that the entire executive council not only enthusiastically supports the giving of the forums, but most will attend one or both of the forums.

  • We know these are quality forums. Nathan Baptiste, director of IME and veteran of many diversity trainings, said that “Lee Mun Wah, of StirFry Seminars, presented one of the most dynamic sessions I’ve experienced on diversity and inclusion issues.”

  • You will get lunch! And a bracelet! A little incentive never hurts.

Please work with your supervisor to determine if either the Thursday or Saturday seminar is better for your schedule. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Other projects that the CDI and I are undertaking this semester include the following:
  • My work with the General Education Subcommittee to support their efforts to embed diversity into the curriculum.

  • My work helping faculty and staff search committees develop best practices for increasing diversity in hiring.

  • Continued efforts to reiterate our commitment to protect and serve undocumented members of our community, Muslim members of our community and members of our community from other countries. Plans to host a group of third graders from Alder Elementary on campus for College Day in March. Several of our students participated in college day at Alder Elementary last fall and worked with three third grade classes. These same third grades classes will now come to our campus.

  • Collaborating with the office of religious and spiritual life, IME, the law school, the graduate school of education and counseling and students for a wonderful MLK Jr. Week of Service, Learning, and Action

  • Collaborating with Elaine Hirsch in her  creation of a diversity and inclusion resource guide for the Watzek Library site.

  • Fine-tuning the draft Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan for presentation to the executive council in February.

The Committee for Diversity and Inclusion meets monthly from 3–5 p.m. in Stamm West and Lewis & Clark community members are invited to attend. The next meeting is schedule for February 10.

The Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement has a full calendar of student-focused diversity and inclusion programming. Learn more about their events and programs