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Jenkins details University’s new initiatives relating to diversity

| Wednesday, May 3, 2017

University President Fr. John Jenkins announced new initiatives the University has implemented as a result of findings from the President’s Oversight Committee on Diversity and Inclusion early Wednesday morning via an email to the student body. Jenkins said these programs were “positive steps” toward improving diversity on the University’s campus

These initiatives addressed three major groups, Jenkins said in the email — faculty, students and staff.

In regards to faculty, new initiatives included a diversity and inclusion panel on the Office of the Provost’s website, diversity workshops, continued participation in the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, work with the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development and new inclusion plans, Jenkins said in the email.

“Each college/school has now completed a comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan, focusing on five areas: making the case for diversity; resourcing the recruitment effort; hardwiring the faculty search process; strategies for retaining and developing faculty; and improving climate,” Jenkins said.

In terms of student life, Student Affairs staff are participating in multicultural competencies workshops, new pieces of art celebrating the University’s “commitment to diversity” have been selected to be showcased in the Duncan Student Center and the Office of Student Enrichment has helped underprivileged students, according to the email.

“With the goal of creating a more inclusive environment, the Office recently launched the Fighting Irish Scholars Pilot Program to facilitate peer mentoring between upperclassmen and first-year students, as well as providing financial resources and programming,” Jenkins said in the email. “Instructors in the Moreau First-Year Experience course were given training to enhance the cultural competency component of the course taken by all first-year students.”

In the email, Jenkins said staff hirings and promotions had become more diverse, and the University had implemented a new system for tracking its commitment to affirmative action where “senior management … [tracks] gaps in hiring versus market availability across the University.”

Widespread participation in “Walk the Walk Week,” and the events surrounding the celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. highlighted the University’s commitment to diversity, Jenkins said in the email.

“Notre Dame’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration … has become one of the most widely-attended MLK Day commemorations among universities nationally, with over 4,000 students, faculty and staff in attendance this year,” he said.

Jenkins said a commitment to diversity was key in maintaining Notre Dame’s Catholic mission, and he hoped these initiatives would spark new conversations on diversity and inclusion, according to the email.

“We cannot be afraid to talk openly, in ways that are both honest and respectful, about the opportunities and challenges, hopes and anxieties, before us,” he said in the email. “Yet, whatever challenges there are, they should lead us to recommit ourselves to building a community of respect, love and mutual support that will reflect the spirit of Notre Dame.”

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  • Joepalooka1

    I fully appreciate diversity…but in that realm let’s celebrate St Paddy’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Octoberfest, Black History Month etc etc but not ‘celebrate diversity’…far better to celebrate what we have IN COMMON!

  • Walt Osgood

    Once again that “dreaded white man” has to be vilified….

    • gailb

      Are you talking about yourself? I don’t see anything in the article about “white.”

      • Walt Osgood

        REALLY! All articles about diversity start with a foundation of white people…

        • gailb

          Haha! Some people think all articles, period, start with a foundation of white people! 🙂

        • disqus_PBnOP0sXke

          Are you playing identity politics?

          • Walt Osgood

            Explain what you mean by Identity Politics?

          • Gator McClusky

            No the University is
            By identifying people by their race instead of seeing people as individuals they are in fact creating resentment and division while participating in false virtue signalling to make itself feel morally superior.
            Only by treating people as individuals and holding them to the same standards do we achieve anything approaching equality. Social engineering by lowering standards or targeting ethnic groups is not only blatantly discriminatory (racist) but achieves no meaning goal but does serve to question whether those targeted groups could have made it on their own and undermines the institutions reputation.

          • disqus_PBnOP0sXke

            But don’t you like to discriminate?

          • Gator McClusky

            No

          • MJ

            *whoosh*

            That’s the sound of the entire concept of diversity going over your head. Diversity efforts DO seek to recognize and celebrate the individual. The entire point of diversity efforts is to help people recognize inherent and/or unconscious biases and recognize the value of all others, especially people who are different from them in some way. It goes beyond race and covers all sorts of dimensions of people and their lives, especially those who are either under-represented or are part of groups that traditionally hold little power either economically or politically.

            I find it interesting that the people who always reject this concept are those of the groups that are in power. It speaks volumes.

          • Gator McClusky

            Nope it tries to group them by race then builds resentment. That’s why we have groups like BLM, if they were smart they would self identify as just American.
            You need to stop drinking the Kool aide your moron professors have been drowning people like yourself for years.

          • MJ

            Now that’s interesting. In a way you just proved a point about diversity. You read my comment and assumed I am a student. You made a judgement about me based on a group you think I belong to without treating me as an individual in any way. When the reality is that I’ve been out of school nearly 25 years and work in corporate America.

            Of course, to your point I suppose, most of large Corporations also have Diversity initiatives, and I drink the Kool Aid from mine regularly. Because our diversity makes us a better place to work. We are more productive ad more successful because our diversity work inside the company continues to help people treats others as individuals instead of making assumptions based on some group they might belong to.

  • palsgraf

    They’re putting an old wooden ship in one of lakes?

  • wesley

    drivel.

  • John H. Gleason

    Any new initiatives designed to increase the number of devout Catholics on the faculty?

    • disqus_PBnOP0sXke

      Do you want Notre Dame to be an echo chamber?

  • Joepalooka1

    I believe we continue to fail by continuing to miss the point…INCLUSION (Diversity and Inclusion) isn’t gained through celebrating our differences but by celebrating what we have in COMMON.