Setting Our Course
Building a more equitable Clark is not just the right thing to do — it’s key to the University’s future. The campus community is currently working on two significant initiatives that are intrinsically intertwined: infusing equity and inclusion across all aspects of the University, and developing a strategic framework for Clark’s future.
To achieve success and enduring relevance in the future, Clark needs to attract and retain students, faculty, and staff from diverse experiences and backgrounds. The process of getting there — to become a more welcoming and equitable institution — will not be easy; it will require difficult conversations, accountability, transparency, and action.
To transform Clark into a fully inclusive, just, and equitable University, President David Fithian has dedicated $1 million to catalyze diversity, equity, and inclusion activities and progress.
The areas of investment will parallel the action items within our initiatives around programming, training, student life/affinity space, and staffing.
Seeding Our Work: #ClarkForward
The ongoing work to build a more equitable Clark began with #ClarkForward, an initiative designed to guide Clark in building evidence-based strategies to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion across all of the University’s operations.
#ClarkForward’s survey work in the 2017–18 academic year has provided valuable insights into areas where Clark can and must improve to become the community we aspire to be. We are indebted to the students, faculty, and staff who have done so much work already and, at the same time, are drawing attention to how much we must change for the better.
University Diversity Action Council
Appointed annually by the President of the University, the University Diversity Action Council (UDAC) will work collaboratively and in cooperation with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as relevant faculty and staff committees, to:
- Generate ideas and support efforts to promote a healthy campus climate. Identify, evaluate and share best practices to create a welcoming and inclusive campus environment and culture of belonging across race, ethnicity, place of origin, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, age, and ability — looking broadly at other institutions, both public and private, inside and outside higher education, across the state, the nation, and the world;
- Monitor and evaluate progress at Clark in fostering conditions that advance diversity and inclusion aligned with the mission of the University and that promote equal opportunities to all Clark students, faculty, and staff;
- Assess existing policies, programs, and organizational structures that promote diversity and inclusion, and recommend additional policies, programming, and institutional changes to ensure progress. Serve as a sounding board for DEI-related input into planning and the development of a strategic framework;
- Work collaboratively with other committees and contribute to community-building and engagement through inclusion;
- Provide guidance on the allocation of presidential discretionary funding related to DEI programs and initiatives;
- Meet twice annually, or more frequently as needed, with the University’s senior leadership team, Faculty Steering, and Staff Steering to provide updates, and twice annually issue progress reports to the Clark community;
- Contribute to greater awareness and understanding on campus of UDAC’s role and Clark’s work in this area.
- President David Fithian
- Esther Jones, associate provost and dean of the faculty
- Chief officer of diversity, equity, and inclusion (CODEI) — position vacant; search underway
- Justin Bailey ’00, alumni representative
- Sophia Bishop, Undergraduate Student Council representative
- Trish Cronin, director of athletics
- Gino DiIorio, chair of the faculty
- Hayley Haywood, assistant dean for equity and student success
- Betsy Huang, associate provost and dean of the college
- John LaBrie, associate provost and dean of the School of Professional Studies
- Francy Magee, associate provost and dean of students
- Drew Melendez, Staff Assembly representative and residential hall director
- Quincy Milton ’20, president of the Graduate Student Council
- Jie Park, director of the Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies
- Two undergraduate students, chosen at large, who represent the range of diversity at Clark — to be announced soon
- Michael Vidal, director for diversity and inclusive excellence, Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI)
- Ashley Caruso, ODI coordinator and assistant to the CODEI, administrative support to the council