Strategic Plan for Inclusion
Creating a More Inclusive Ursinus College: A Diversity Strategic Plan
Ursinus is characterized by allegiance to group, and much less to the overall institution. This is well recognized at many levels—current students, alumni, faculty and staff. It is not a surprise that this plays out in the divides that society in the United States provides for us—across race, socio-economics, gender, politics, and religion, to name a few dimensions of those divides. It is essential that Ursinus attend to these divides to enable the campus to welcome twenty-first century diversity.
That Ursinus becomes an institution that enables all members of its community to feel a sense of belonging and ownership on campus. This welcoming environment will allow community members opportunity to gain support from others who share their identities, the opportunity to embrace multiple identities without conflict, and the opportunity to develop deep, understanding, and meaningful connections with others across identity divides.
This vision can only become reality if it is an institutional initiative, and not just an initiative of a single office, department, or division. Clearly some offices play a critical role, such as the Institute for Inclusion and Equity, the College Chaplain, and Title IX programs, but at best these offices can only provide models for the rest of the campus community to adopt, as driven by leadership at all levels.
The Dimensions of the Plan
In the past, various teams have been brought together, sometimes spurred by a campus issue, sometimes by external funding, to identify needs. While these have been useful efforts, they have not had the continuity and public presence necessary to engage the full community on a regular basis. This implementation plan lays out a way to build on these past efforts and bring a high level of involvement and recognition of inclusion efforts.
On a regular basis, the president’s office will gather relevant parties to identify recent activities, future activities, and missing elements. These consultations will include the cabinet, the diversity committee, organizations with explicit or implicit inclusion responsibilities (IIE, Chaplain, athletics, ISS, CIE leadership, etc.). These consultations will result in a report that documents the accomplishments and lays out an agenda for the next period. This structure is meant to avoid a simplistic road map, and instead provide a structure that allows for continuing innovation and nimble responses to campus needs as they arise.