Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

 

As a public liberal arts institution in the 21st century, MCLA understands that diversity, equity, and inclusion must be a cornerstone on which our success lays. To that end, the College is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive campus community where all students, faculty, and staff have the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind necessary to live in a diverse, globally integrated world. The Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CDEI) is an integral aspect of this work.

CDO, Dr. Christopher MacDonald-Dennis, listens to a studentComprised of members from across all academic/administrative support divisions, CDEI serves as a leadership council working with the Chief Diversity Officer to help the College achieve its goals of promoting diversity and institutionalizing equity and inclusion as core values. Specifically, CDEI assesses, monitors and reports on progress toward achieving strategic diversity goals; and reviews and revises MCLA's diversity goals and strategies. Primary areas of focus include (1) diversity of the faculty, staff, and student bodies; (2) campus culture and climate; (3) curricular and co-curricular diversity-centered learning opportunities; and (4) institutional practices and policies.

The Committee, though part of the governance structure at the College, will mirror earlier grassroots efforts in many ways. It is deeply concerned with radical inclusion and will allow all community members the ability to have their voice heard as well as get involved with equity work. This new committee is meant to provide a level of accountability without sacrificing the transparent nature of its earlier iteration. Membership includes faculty, administrators, staff, undergraduate and graduate students, community members, and alum.

Among other things, CDEI will:

  • Organizing campus-wide events: The Committee will coordinate college-wide heritage month celebrations and similar events. This is in no way meant to replace student-run events but rather augment their work to make it an institutionally-recognized celebration.
  • Monitor and evaluate the progress of MCLA in creating conditions that advance diversity and inclusion that will best support our mission and provide equal opportunities to all students, faculty and staff at MCLA.
  • Lead efforts to evaluate and promote a healthy campus climate. Identify, evaluate and share best practices in efforts to create a welcoming and inclusive campus climate—looking broadly at other institutions, both public and private, across the state and the nation.
  • Evaluate existing policies, programs, and organizational structures that promote diversity and inclusion and recommend additional policies, programming and institutional changes to continue to ensure proactive engagement in creating a healthy campus community.
  • Generate innovate thinking and offer solutions to assist in the resolution of campus climate issues.
  • Partner with identified campus groups and departments based on campus specific needs or climate studies to foster community building and engagement through inclusion.

The broader Committee will convene at least four times per academic year with subgroup meetings monthly or bimonthly with subgroup chairs based on specific initiatives.

The Committee recognizes the importance of sharing information as well as soliciting and responding to feedback from members of the campus community. As advocates for inclusion, the Committee values and promotes cross-collaboration; consults with faculty, staff and campus offices; and regularly supports and participates in diversity enrichment opportunities.

Along with being composed of representatives from areas across the College, the membership will reflect the diversity of the community in terms of social identity. Membership will be based on many factors that include, but are not limited to: interest in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at MCLA, any relevant expertise and/or experience required to achieve Committee goals, leadership skills, and a willingness to commit time and effort toward achieving MCLA's diversity vision.

Christopher MacDonald-DennisThe CDO engages with the entire campus community to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are valued reflected in all areas of the college, and works with faculty, executive and administrative staff, alumni, community partners, and students to direct, implement, and oversee institutional planning on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that positively impact student and employee experiences at MCLA.

Erin MilneAssessment seeks to tell the clear and accurate story of student learning at MCLA, with the goal of strengthening our practices. Principles of DEI inform this work as we strive to make sure the stories and voices of all students are heard and understood. Assessment supports DEI initiatives by providing a framework of inquiry for looking more closely at students' experiences at MCLA.

Heather QuireThe Equal Opportunity director oversees MCLA's compliance with our EO Plan, as well as with the state and federal non-discrimination and equal opportunity laws. Anyone with questions, concerns or complaints regarding discrimination, discriminatory harassment or retaliation may contact the EO Officer.

The Equal Opportunity director oversees MCLA's compliance with our EO Plan, as well as with the state and federal non-discrimination and equal opportunity laws. Anyone with questions, concerns or complaints regarding discrimination, discriminatory harassment or retaliation may contact the EO Officer.

Jason CanalesInstitutional Research works to provide actionable research and reporting to our partners in DEI. We work to provide this information in multiple ways so that we act upon trends and transform numbers to individuals that our behind these numbers. We do this so that MCLA will become a campus where all members of our community can learn, grow, and be themselves.

Erica WallBCRC's wide array of programming brings diverse perspectives and voices that enrich our lives and highlight the power of the arts as a means to speak across discipline and personal boundaries. BCRC collaborates with other organizations and artists to present work that asks tough questions about racism, close to home and on a national scale.

The mission of MCLA Information Technology is to provide robust and reliable technology. As the head of IT, the CIO ensures that the college’s technology and support services are designed to eliminate barriers for our community. Through partnerships with colleagues and our peers across the Commonwealth, the IT department leverages technology to expand opportunities for underrepresented groups and ensures that we select technologies that promote equity.

Arlene TheodoreThe Multicultural Education Resource Center encourages cross-cultural relations, student empowerment, and leadership especially for ALANA, international, and veteran students. Together we work to enlighten the MCLA and local community about the value and contributions of many cultures and perspectives.

Nicole PortherThe DEI Faculty Fellows work with the CDO to plan and implement professional development opportunities for faculty and support faculty around inclusive pedagogy, communicating across difference, and locating curricular resources.

Cindy MacDonaldThe Office of Disability Resources is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities. We work to provide students with equitable access to all MCLA programs and services. Our philosophy and programs assist eligible students in fostering independence in college to the fullest extent possible, embracing self-advocacy, and in developing skills to transition and succeed in their careers. We believe that disability is a natural part of human variation and an essential aspect of diversity.

The DEI Faculty Fellows work with the CDO to plan and implement professional development opportunities for faculty and support faculty around inclusive pedagogy, communicating across difference, and locating curricular resources.

MCLA Athletics is committed to a providing a safe and inclusive environment, respecting differences and encouraging social change. Our department strives to provide opportunities to student-athletes of all identities. The Trailblazer DEI Working Group helps to shape initiatives that address social injustices, identify current issues, and set goals in providing a welcoming and supportive environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion for both MCLA student-athletes and athletics department coaches and staff.

Theresa M. O'BryantOur mission at CSSE is to empower MCLA students with knowledge, guidance, and resources so that they can make the most of college experience. We believe every student can flourish academically and discover their own path to success.