• Rabbi Nina Mandel, Director of Jewish Life
    Chad Hummel

March 16, 2022

The Division of Inclusive Excellence continues to advance the university’s Strategic Plan and the work from the CenSUs Task Force. The Board of Trustees — engaged in transformative work summer 2021 — combined two separate statements (Statement on Diversity and Inclusiveness; Statement on Ethical Living) into the one Statement on Ethical and Inclusive Living. This document has informed the work of the division, and we want to share some accomplishments of this year.

Highlights from the 2021-22 academic year include:

  • Establishing the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity in Action (IDEA) Council, a 13-member committee focused on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) on campus
  • Producing a 20th anniversary event and video memorializing alumni lost on September 11, 2021 in partnership with Marketing & Communications
  • Creating an interfaith dinner featuring individuals from the Muslim, Jewish, secular humanist, and Unitarian backgrounds
  • Co-hosting the Transgender Day of Remembrance with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Hiring Rabbi Nina Mandel as Director of Jewish Life and Dr. Rachana Sachdev as Coordinator, Faculty Inclusion and Diversity

Since first announcing the Building Inclusive Excellence Curriculum (BIEC), we have had more than 200 employees participate in at least one course. Nearly 50 colleagues have completed six or more units, 44 have finished their foundational courses, and another 123 employees are in process of completing those. We have heard your feedback and are now offering multiple (staggered) enrollment for the BIEC.

As we continue to make progress this spring, here are our efforts underway:

  • Finalizing the division’s mission and vision statements
  • Creating a new dashboard with information focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Identifying new collaborative partners across the institution for initiatives
  • Piloting new courses to delve deeper into DEI topics from the curriculum
  • Reimagining our Inclusive Excellence suite in the Degenstein Campus Center

We offer our sincere thanks to all who have embraced our programming and initiatives. We look forward to growing with you as we continue to elevate the DEI consciousness of the community.

Sincerely,
Michael Dixon
Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer