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Diversity committee renamed to reflect Pacific's mission, values

Apr 23, 2020

The University Diversity Committee (UDC), formed in 2008 as part of Pacific’s strategic plan, has been renamed the University Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (UCDEI) to reflect that Pacific’s mission and values are broader than demographic diversity.

The committee is responsible for assisting in the development of programs, projects and policies that will enhance diversity, equity and inclusion, with emphasis on issues related to, but not limited to, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability. The changes were proposed and approved by the UDC and Academic Council after feedback regarding the committee’s work and how it meshes with overall university policy and goals.

“The committee’s name change more accurately reflects what is at the heart of the charge of the committee, and Pacific as a whole,” said Colleen Smith, associate director of Gender Equity and Pride and interim director of Intercultural Student Success. “In addition to diversity, we must take a critical lens to matters of inclusion and equity: in our policies, our practices and our environments.” 

Qingwen Dong, professor of communications and committee co-chair (representing faculty) said that the newly renamed committee, led by faculty, staff and student members, emphasizes the essence of shared governance at Pacific.  Dong co-chairs the committee with Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Marshea Pratt, who represents staff.

The membership of the committee drops from 17 to 12 while still maintaining representation from many important stakeholders across all three campuses, including ex-officio members. In addition, the Diversity Leadership Team (DLT) was dissolved as UCDEI will handle the work previously done by the DLT.

"With the addition of 'equity and inclusion,' the committee's efforts on and off campus are better represented and defined in a way that communicates our mission, vision and goals in a shorthand manner to the faculty, staff, students and community members of Pacific,” said Christian Cardona ’19, a business administration graduate.

Cardona is an intern with the UCDEI as she works on her master’s degree in communication. She will develop a social media campaign for the committee.

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