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Presidential Message | Continued Focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

August 28, 2020
A Message from the President

Presidential Message | Continued Focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

[August 28, 2020]

Dear RVU Family,

The unrest across our nation continues.  Many segments of the Country are crying for respect, safety, and opportunity for every American.  The violence initiated by individuals and groups trying to steal the message of peaceful protest continue to test our resilience and sense of hope.  This week, unprecedented action by professional sports teams and athletes, further moved our collective consciousness. Hearing their concerns as to, “what can be done,” compelled me to reach out to the RVU Community to assure you of our continued focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

A senior leadership group has been meeting since January, reading and discussing the book The End of Diversity as We Know It by Martin Davidson. It was our intent to continue a dialog which began with students and faculty over a year ago.  This rather academic approach was appropriately and explosively overcome by the cascading events of untimely and unseemly deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement and subsequently the rise of public protest both here and abroad.  Your leadership understands the sense of urgency and the need for trusted dialog and action. Action within our family includes greater understanding of unconscious bias, willingness to share our story, review of curriculum, and increased attention to recruitment of a diverse student body, staff, and faculty.

These next steps are being formulated by senior university leadership:    ​

  • We have formed a university-level Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council (DEIAC) composed of members of senior leadership.  We in the DEIAC are committed to supporting a welcoming and inclusive culture within RVU.
  • To further this commitment, we will soon initiate an intensive planning process focused on rapid implementation strategies to improve our climate, curriculum, community, and communication.
  • We will establish a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force which will, according to a charter document currently under development, plan for “. . .the next phase of Rocky Vista University’s diversity, equity and inclusion practices and processes and engage in . . . An intensive 90-day results-oriented planning initiative . . ., focusing on identifying initial and ongoing measures to be considered and taken by the University.”

The goal is to release a document with a more detailed description of our next steps by the end of September. We will continue to focus on efforts to improve which includes more listening, learning, and leveraging our strengths into actionable steps to move us to a better place.

Please continue your personal focus on understanding how you impact this national crisis by reading, sharing stories, and continuing to work on the efforts you have been involved in to make a difference.

We appreciate the many ground level efforts you the students, faculty and staff have taken in helping us move forward in our understanding and commitment to our Core Value of Diversity. I believe our efforts will lead to additional ideas and changes to continue to build inclusivity within our community.

Sincerely,

CONNECT WITH US

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