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Office of the President
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211

Diversity at University of the Pacific

University of the Pacific is deeply committed to the principles of diversity and inclusive excellence that will help us promote and maintain a rich and welcoming learning environment for all – one that prepares our graduates for success in an increasingly intercultural world. Because of this commitment, creating a diverse learning environment is reflected in our mission, in Pacific 2020, and in our Institutional Priorities.

Several years ago, I appointed a joint faculty and administration task force to develop a University-wide Diversity Strategic Plan. During spring 2012, the final report of the Strategic Task Force on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence was shared with the University community. It has been widely acknowledged that the report represents a comprehensive analysis of diversity and inclusive excellence at Pacific.

A number of the strategies recommended in the report have already been accomplished. For example, for the past several years we have had an active Bias Response Team, aligned with best practices in higher education. We also hired a full-time director for the Women’s Resource Center, a position we recently refilled. This past spring we conducted campus climate surveys for students, staff, and faculty, and are compiling results now. In addition, the guidelines for faculty searches are being updated by the Assistant Provost for Diversity, and we are finalizing reports on the current status of the diversity of our faculty and administration. We are also fundraising for additional scholarships for entering and continuing underrepresented students as a part of our comprehensive campaign.

A number of other recommendations are being incorporated into the work of initiatives that are aligned with the current institutional priorities and Pacific 2020.  For example, strengthening support for at-risk students is a major focus of the student success initiative. Student Life has added a staff position specifically to work with African American students, and two additional staff members will be added this fall to augment the referral case management staff for all at-risk students. In addition, the results of the faculty, staff, and student climate surveys will determine the development and training programs needed for augmented diversity and inclusion.

While all of these activities are important steps to ensure the university’s inclusive excellence, much work remains to be accomplished. We now need to move forward in a more intentional manner as a means of realizing the goals to which we aspire.  Three important steps are critical: 

  1. We need to identify a leadership team responsible to advance Pacific’s progress in embracing diversity. 
  2. We need to consider establishing a standing joint faculty-administration committee dedicated to university diversity. 
  3. Pacific needs a Diversity Implementation Plan building on the strong recommendations in the Diversity Task Force Report of 2012.

Diversity Leadership Team

I am appointing three people to serve as a diversity leadership team that will identify the most critical efforts we can undergo to enhance the diversity and spirit of inclusion experienced by our student body, our faculty, and our staff. I believe that people who are closest to these groups can be most effective in charting the best initiatives and collaborating across the university toward this end. 

The Diversity Leadership Team will include:

  1. Chris Goff, Assistant Provost for Diversity, who will be responsible for efforts in the Academic Division to enhance recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and to support and promote curricular, creative, and scholarly work related to diversity;
  2. Steve Jacobson, Senior Associate Vice President for Student Life, who will be responsible for diversity and inclusivity efforts for our current and entering students, including their co-curricular learning experiences related to diversity; and
  3. Sondra Roeuny, Assistant Vice President for Business and Finance, who will be responsible for coordinating efforts to enhance the diversity and inclusive excellence of our University staff through recruitment, retention, and development.

I am requesting that Chris Goff serve as the convener of this group for at least two years to ensure that progress is made, partnerships are forged across divisions, and progress reports on diversity are submitted to the Cabinet and President by June 30 annually.  The role of convener can rotate among the Diversity Leadership Team with the President’s approval. 

I am requesting that the diversity leadership team take on two tasks this coming year: work with the Academic Council to explore forming a committee related to diversity and develop a Diversity Implementation Plan.

University Diversity Committee

I propose that the University establish a standing joint administrative-faculty committee related to diversity. This committee would serve as a resource and sounding board for the Diversity Leadership Team as well as inform faculty, staff, and students as strategies are implemented and progress is tracked. As recommended in the Task Force Report, a team of leaders spanning Academic Affairs, Student Life, and Business and Finance could work together to move Pacific forward in areas related to diversity and inclusive excellence.

The first responsibility of the Diversity Leadership Team is to work with the Academic Council both to consider if a diversity committee should be created, and if so, to develop a charge and membership for the committee.

Diversity Implementation Plan

I request that the diversity leadership team develop a Diversity Implementation Plan building on the strong recommendations in the Diversity Task Force Report of 2012. In the absence of a university diversity committee, this implementation plan should be developed with the broad input across Academic Affairs, Student Life, HR, the Academic Council, Staff Advisory Council and our three campuses.   

As we all recognize, a campus culture that values diversity and inclusivity only comes about when everyone makes an effort to promote inclusivity in both our working and our learning environment. Thank you for all you do as individuals, and as a community, to welcome people from all backgrounds and to celebrate what we have to learn from one another.