Preliminary Recommendations: November 27, 2017

In Response to the Commission Charge Issued by Dr. James M. Smith, President, Eastern Michigan University

Submitted November 27, 2017

In December 2016, Eastern Michigan University President James M. Smith appointed a thirteen member President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion.  The creation of the Commission came in the immediate aftermath of several recent stress points in EMU’s path toward becoming an institution of inclusion and excellence. These include incidents of racial hate messaging on campus, protests over the pace of resolution regarding these instances, longer standing unresolved racial grievances, and the issuance of the Black Student Ten Point Plan in 2015.   The Commission on Diversity and Inclusion is the most recent of multiple institution-wide efforts, dating back nearly fifty years, to address EMU’s engagement with the challenge of racial equality imprinted on the nation’s agenda by the Modern Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion Charge

 President Smith tasked the Commission to:

  • Provide recommendations to undertake systematic campus climate assessment, including a study on the campus racial climate;
  • Identify existing programs and resources that have succeeded in strengthening a climate of respect and inclusiveness on our campus and other campuses; and
  • Provide input, and make specific recommendations, to the President and to the campus community about campus climate and the means of creating a more inclusive culture.

The President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion issues the following eight Preliminary Recommendations in response to this charge.

  1. Biennial Campus Climate Assessment
  2. Periodic Institutional Diversity Audit
  3. Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion led by a Chief Diversity Officer Reporting Directly to the President
  4. Comprehensive University Strategic Action Plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  5. Diversity Impact Analysis
  6. Accountability Driven Performance Evaluation System
  7. Curricular Improvement and Development
    • Masters degree in Africology and African American Studies.
    • General Education assessment of student learning outcomes for DEI.
    • Inclusion of student representation in General Education Assessment.
    • Required team-taught, interdisciplinary, interdepartmental undergraduate course on systemic and structural inequity.
  8. Community Engagement and Transformation Study Group

In presenting these Preliminary Recommendations, the Commission addresses the components of the Black Student Ten Point Plan (See Appendix 1) through protocol and process recommendations, and as stand-alone propositions.  

The President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion presents a more detailed delineation of the Preliminary Recommendations, and a process for receiving input from the campus and broader community on each of the eight recommendations.

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