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Recommendations & Actions

The University continuously engages in thoughtful discussions and actions to further our goals of enhancing an equitable and respectful community, free of harassment and discrimination.  The Office of Equity and Diversity, The Council for Diversity and Inclusion, the University Planning Committee, Center for Teaching and Leaning Excellence, Office of Community Relations, the Cross Cultural Centers and Student Life, along with community partners, research, collaborate and make recommendations to University leadership, and work to educate the community on best practices in diversity and inclusion in the areas of teaching, employee relations and student life experience.

We encourage you to explore the Communications tab on this page and our websites to learn more about our efforts and resources. 

Members of the University are challenged to deepen their own understanding. Listen to a podcast. Attend a virtual event on anti-racism, Black Lives Matter, or a related topic. The Weinberg Memorial Library has assembled several for reading, listening and viewing.

As a reminder, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Grants remain available through OED. More information is available here.

Policy and Strategic Planning

Policy on Racism, Discrimination, Bias and Inclusion for All Members of the University Community

  • In June 2019, the University implemented an updated Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy. The Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), with assistance from Student Life and Human Resources, created the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Resources and Reporting Brochure for students, faculty and staff. Printed copies are regularly distributed throughout campus. In addition, OED and Student Government launched a social media information campaign to promote the updated policy.
  •  Reports of harassment, discrimination, bias or hate may be filed anonymously with this . 
  • OED also provides training on the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy to all newly hired faculty and staff. Any departments that might wish to receive the training should contact the office, as the trainings are available upon request.

Long-term Commitment through Strategic Planning

  • The University solidified our long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion making it a primary goal in our new strategic plan.
    • Reflect and understand the diversity of the world by demanding that diversity be a priority as we build an inclusive community and campus culture, develop and deliver our education and shape our student experience.
  • The Strategic Plan was approved by the Board of Trustees in September 2020. Work is currently underway complete an institutional plan for diversity and inclusion, drawing from a comprehensive review of University departments, organizations, spaces, and process that provide and support inclusion and diversity-related education and programming.

Faculty and Staff听

Hiring

recruitment-toolkit-11-8-21.jpgThe working group on hiring for diversity develops effective ways to deepen and grow the racial and ethnic diversity of our faculty and staff, including:

  • Strengthening the diversity of our candidate pools
  • Structuring  our job postings to recruit with diversity backgrounds
  •  Advertising faculty and staff job postings for diversity recruitment
  •  Training search committees/departments in reviewing candidate pools, interviewing and hosting candidates, and making recommendations in ways that support diversity and discourage implicit bias and other obstacles to hiring for diversity, including creating

A Strategy Toolkit to Recruit an Excellent & Diverse Faculty

  • Increasing retention efforts for  faculty and staff of color
  • Encouraging and engaging in cluster hires.

Training for Faculty and Staff

  • OED, in collaboration with CTLE and Human Resources, continues programming through virtual and in-person opportunities and launched online training to all employees that raises awareness of implicit bias in the workplace and microaggression prevention. Faculty, staff and students are invited to access these insightful videos and resources by visiting Diversity and Inclusion Recorded Programs for Faculty, Staff and Students.

Academic Affairs and Resources for Faculty

In an effort to improve our curriculum related to racism, discrimination and the cultural richness and contributions of BIPOC:
  • Faculty have engaged in productive discussions and review of general education this year with a focus on the development and implementation of a curricular component that addresses racism and discrimination. In addition, some academic departments have worked to strengthen their disciplinary curriculum and teaching methods.
  • The University hired two full-time Black faculty to create a Black History concentration, with another cluster hire in the process to build and support the concentration.
  • The OED also added resources for faculty to its website to create a more inclusive classroom and to promote inclusive teaching. Faculty should avail themselves of the resources offered and consider how they can engage race and racism within their courses, scholarship and/or University service. 

Resources and Activities for Students

The Cross Cultural Centers

  • Sponsored dialogue series
    • One series focuses on understanding race, racism, and racial identity and privilege (with sessions on White privilege, understanding and interrupting bias, racism and racial disparities in healthcare, anti-Asian racism, and more).   
    • The other focuses on racial healing and identity to support and empower folks of color, with seven sessions on addressing and coping with racism, mental health and discrimination, racial battle fatigue, and anti-Asian American racism. 
  • Sponsored more than 60 programs and workshops in 2020-2021 broadly engaging the community in dialogue and learning about diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice, including numerous collaborations across campus and with other colleges and universities.   
  • Developed and facilitated a new Orientation session about community, bias, microaggressions, and University expectations for inclusion. 
  • Identified and purchased personal care products with feedback from students to that are now available in the POD to better serve students of color in particular. 
  • Convened with students, faculty and and staff to create a Black Student Union, which was chartered as a recognized student organization in Fall 2021, along with the Scranton Student Association of the Philippines.
  • Developed and facilitated training for Resident Assistants in partnership with Residence Life furthering the development of community cultural competence, and discussed recognition of and confronting bias and microaggressions. 
  • Offered classroom guest lectures on topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, facilitating more than 20 classroom presentations throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.  Introduced a Kania School of Management mandatory PASSPORT program for first-year students about microaggressions and inclusion in business.
  • Sponsored the Donning of the Kente Ceremonies to recognize the personal and academic achievements of students of color. 
  • Launched a weekly support and empowerment group for students of color. The Counseling Center in collaboration with the Cross Cultural Centers will reintroduce this program for Fall 2021 and develop additional resources for students of color, to improve support through services and staffing. 
  • Created an Assistant Dean of Students position to increase retention and student success with emphasis on first generation students and students of color. 

Office of Campus Ministries

  • Issued a statement of solidarity, prayers of hope and reconciliation and implemented daily prayer and reflection piece that include education about systemic racism, and other measures to raise awareness of this crisis and to examine and address how our students’ spiritual formation is impacted by systemic racism on social media.
  • Participated in workshops organized by Catholic Relief Services Power & Privilege Discernment Group, on analyzing and reflecting on power, privilege, race and culture in university faith-justice efforts and support students across a broad range of identities as leaders and advocates for the global common good in partnership with CRS.
  • Led weekly discussions coinciding with the Mercy Critical Anti-Racism Education Challenge and a reflective discussion with students on June 3 on an America magazine article “Who suffers most during the Pandemic”. 
  • Hosted prayer services for peace in response to racial violence. 

Student Government

  • Committed to educating our organization and including organizing and  participating in bi-weekly book discussions to reflect on systemic racism and oppression, our experiences, and how we can foster a more inclusive and diverse community.
  • Planned ongoing implicit-bias training to help Student Government members to uncover their own biases of which some might not be fully aware.
  • Advocated for changes to the General Education program to include more rigid requirements for students in the area of cultural diversity and competency, review courses with the Cultural Diversity designation, and offer more courses on cultural diversity.
  • Advocated for cultural diversity requirements to be included in the TAPESTRY/Passport Professional Development programs.
  • Facilitated workshop open to the campus community in October as a condensed version of Multicultural Counseling course taught in the Counseling & Human Services department.
  • Solicited feedback through our SG Diversity & Inclusion Feedback Form from students.
  • Worked with the Office of Equity & Diversity to educate the campus community about the changes made to the Non-Discrimination & Anti-Harassment Policy.
  • Collaborated with the United Cultures Organization to create opportunities for student activities and education. 
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