September 06, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
I am writing to share an update on Susquehanna’s inclusive excellence progress.
In 2020, University President, Jonathan Green called upon Susquehannans to support an actively anti-racist community. This included forming the CenSUs: Everyone Counts task force. One of the task force’s recommendations to move the institution forward regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice was to centralize that work into a cohesive unit.
This year, the Division of Inclusive Excellence was established. The Association of American Colleges and Universities defines “inclusive excellence” as focusing on student intellectual and social development, utilizing organizational resources to enhance student learning, and recognizing how the cultural differences of others enhance the student and organizational learning. It is from that premise that we look to create a synergy in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Susquehanna has many strong initiatives and programs to educate our community, but there has been a lack of cohesion to focus the work. This change will address that fact.
The entities united within this newly created division are:
- Center for Diversity and Inclusion
- Office of the Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer
- Office of Jewish Life
- Office of Religious and Spiritual Life
We have a number of things planned for this semester, including having a faculty member join the team (coordinator, faculty inclusion and diversity), unveiling a new faculty and staff DEI curriculum, and advancing the work of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity in Action Council. (IDEA), which will build upon the foundation set by the task force.
We will provide regular updates to the community through our Inclusive Excellence website and other campus communications. Come visit our office on the main level in Degenstein Campus Center, next to the Hawk Hub, where you can find division staff strategizing and developing pedagogy to educate and teach about diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
As the new academic year gets underway, remember not to let a learning opportunity pass you by. When faced with a challenge, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this experience?”
Continuing to further the work,
Michael Dixon (he/him)
Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer