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Review the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Draft Strategic Plan
Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community:
As Syracuse University seeks to identify its next chief diversity and inclusion officer, we are serving as an interim leadership team, charged with engaging the campus community to advance the University’s inaugural Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan. To accomplish this charge, we are collaborating with key DEIA campus partners, including the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; the Inclusive Leadership Assembly; the Council on Diversity and Inclusion; and the Disability, Access and Inclusion Council. Many others, including student cultural groups, student-athletes and Greek organizations, are also engaged in the process.
Today, we write to share the draft strategic plan [PDF] and its development process, information on the plan engagement process and initial plan implementation steps. We invite you to be involved as we finalize the plan to create a welcoming campus community for all.
The Planning Process
The University embarked upon the development of its first five-year DEIA strategic plan in 2020 with the establishment of the DEIA Strategic Plan Task Force, a collection of faculty, staff and student DEIA leaders from across campus. Task force members leveraged their expertise and feedback from a wide range of campus engagement conversations to outline the plan’s goals, objectives and strategies. Reports from the Board of Trustees Special Committee on University Climate, Diversity and Inclusion and former U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, along with results of the campus climate pulse survey, also helped inform the plan’s development.
Please Review the Plan and Engage With Us
The success of this plan, which requires campus engagement, is critical as we prepare our campus members to participate in an ever-changing, global society.
The draft plan [PDF] provides a framework for the campus community through five key goals that will shape our efforts to develop an aligned campuswide DEIA strategy:
1. Enhance campus climate to create a sense of belonging for all.
2. Recruit, support and retain diverse students, faculty and staff.
3. Advance institutional infrastructure related to DEIA learning, professional development and civic innovation.
4. Elevate DEIA across the academic institution, transforming our approach to scholarship, research, pedagogy, curriculum, programs and services.
5. Practice an inclusive understanding of accessibility.
- How should the work within the plan be prioritized and why?
- How will I hold myself accountable to the priorities I think are most important?
- How should we (the University) integrate and coordinate DEIA work across the full institution?
- What else would you like to tell us related to the DEIA strategic plan?
Next Steps for Implementation
Engaging with our campus community will allow us to assist in the finalization of the document, which will be provided to the University’s next chief diversity and inclusion officer for review and implementation. While our next chief diversity and inclusion officer, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, is expected to have a predefined authority and will be responsible for shepherding the implementation of the plan itself, the burden should not rest solely on any one leader or group. The success of this plan relies upon shared governance, which requires responsibility and accountability from each person reading its draft and final version.
Robust participation by our full campus community in the plan engagement process, and the plan’s implementation, is critical for success. A crucial outcome of our shared work will be the realization of true equity throughout our university—in our processes and policies and inherent in our campus climate.
We look forward to your engagement. Thank you for your efforts and your commitment to transformational change.
Diane Lyden Murphy
Dean, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics
Professor, College of Engineering and Computer Science
Cerri A. Banks
Vice President of Student Success and Deputy to the Senior Vice President of the Student Experience