Institutional Diversity

 

Introduction

The LaGrange College Institutional Diversity Plan is designed to nurture an inclusive and caring campus in which students, faculty, staff, and administration appreciate and celebrate difference; to actively promote and support programs that build global awareness; and to facilitate activities that will increase our abilities to successfully navigate in the global arena. The Institutional Diversity Plan is driven by our commitment to the Mission Statement, which reads in part:  “LaGrange College strives to be a caring and ethical community. The hallmark of the LaGrange College community is the quest for civility, diversity, service, and excellence.”   We define diversity within our community as an ethos that welcomes all races, ethnicities, and cultures; respects differences in ideology, background, and experience; and embraces the uniqueness of each person with whom we interact.


Faculty, Administrative, and Staff Hiring

Faculty hiring is under the auspices of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean. Cabinet members are hired by the President of the College. Staff hiring is coordinated by the appropriate department supervisor with the approval of the Executive Vice President for Administration.

Objective: to maintain an outstanding faculty/administrative/staff roster that reflects geographic, ethnic, racial, and religious diversity.


Recommendations:

  1. review where we stand now with regard to the criteria above, and establish specific diversity goals for our constituent employee groups;
  2. insure that all position vacancy announcements affirm our commitment to diversity;
  3. expand faculty recruiting sources to include listing in www.latpro.com; www.hbcuconnect.com; and print publications Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, and Women in Higher Education;
  4. join with some of our aspirant institutions and join the Consortium for Faculty Diversity in Liberal Arts, www.depauw.edu/admind/academicaffairs/CFD/index.asp, an organization committed to diversity in hiring practices;
  5. consider utilizing the Executive Search Firms in the American Council of Education Roundtable when recruiting for executive administrative positions;
  6. develop a method to assess effectiveness in attracting a diverse pool of candidates for available positions.

Each Vice President’s Institutional Effectiveness Report should include a summary of hiring activities that includes the number of applicants for advertised positions and geographical/racial/ethnic make-up of applicants and interviewees .


Faculty, Administrative, and Staff Development

To be effective, faculty, staff, and administrators must view individual development in this arena as central to our institutional commitment to diversity.


Objectives:

  1. to provide opportunities for open, sustained dialogue among colleagues in order that we might reflect critically on belief and practice with regard to diversity;
  2. to provide formal opportunities for engaging with other learners through participation in conferences, workshops, and seminars.

Recommendations:

  1. host an annual symposium in which faculty may participate through advance readings, engaging with a lecturer, and small group discussions;
  2. provide stipends to encourage employees at all levels of the organization to attend regional or national diversity-themed workshops and seminars to increase understanding and develop specific skills;
  3. facilitate dissemination of information about relevant diversity conferences and workshops to the college community through the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean;
  4. continue to encourage faculty to apply for Fulbright and other international academic teach/travel programs;
  5. work with the Library staff to add appropriate diversity resource materials;
  6. include a discussion of our commitment to diversity in all aspects of community life as a part of New Faculty/Staff Orientation;
  7. encourage both Administrative and Staff councils to schedule one formal diversity workshop/presentation annually;
  8. when financially feasible, create a Teaching and Learning Center that will serve as the coordinating point for resources and education about diversity issues.

Student Enrollment

Objectives:

  1. to recruit academically qualified students from the United States and abroad to enroll a Day student body that represents geographic, economic, ethnic, racial, and religious diversity;
  2. to recruit academically qualified non-traditional students who reside within driving distance of the Evening and Albany campuses who reflect the racial, ethnic, career, and economic diversity of the local community.

Recommendations:

  1. the Vice President for Enrollment should continue to follow the Admission Plan already developed (fall 2008);
  2. the Directors of the Evening and Albany programs work with the Vice President for Enrollment to develop suitable plans for those programs;
  3. develop a web page easily accessible to parents and prospective students, to highlight our commitment to an inclusive campus;
  4. insure that all print publications, web content, and other media reflect the commitment to diversity in students, faculty, staff, and programs.

Student Curricular and Co-Curricular Programs and Activities

LaGrange College already sponsors or supports a variety of curricular and co-curricular activities that build knowledge and awareness and encourage our students to value and respect difference.  Current programs include contact hours, alternative spring break trips, music and film festivals, diversity-themed interim courses, and the African American Read-In. Faculty and staff should continue to offer students  regular opportunities to reflect and engage in a variety of diversity-related activities throughout their undergraduate and graduate careers.

Objectives:

  1. to insure that discussions of diversity are seamlessly integrated into the undergraduate and graduate curricula through core, major, Interim and Fall Enrichment classes;
  2. to continue to develop co-curricular programming that expose students to key issues and to a variety of role models;.
  3. to build students’ awareness and knowledge to better prepare them to assume leadership roles upon graduation through providing Interim and term study abroad opportunities.

Recommendations:

  1. schedule two diversity-themed programs during the 2009-2010 academic year; one sponsored by faculty, and the second sponsored by students;
  2. explore ways to incorporate diversity components into the core curriculum;
  3. encourage faculty to schedule domestic Interim offerings as one method of increasing exposure to diverse cultures;
  4. promote awareness of cultural celebrations such as Diwali, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, etc., through FYI or other avenues;
  5. support and mentor the International/Rotaract Group, whose mission “is to foster an understanding and appreciation of international issues and other cultures”;
  6. be more intentional in promoting/advertising activities that already focus on diversity;
  7. identify grant opportunities (through Advancement Office) to bring speakers and/or programs to campus.




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