In difficult times, it is important that we continue to have difficult conversations. Dr. Lorraine Acker or I will be writing to you frequently to update you about the conversations that we are having together and with other people. I am asking you to continue to provide us with your collective wisdom as we work towards understanding and clarity.
At Monday’s Town Hall meeting, I committed to you that I would hold several smaller meetings with students, faculty, and staff. I also committed to having additional town halls or similar gatherings as we need them going forward. Some of these meetings have begun to take place, and others are still being scheduled.
Yesterday I met with the President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion (PCDI). Much of the conversation concerned recent events, but what came through was a need for PCDI to understand how they can help our academic community. We also acknowledge that it is not solely the job of the Council, or the Chief Diversity Officer, to move our college forward. Some work can be done by committees, some can be done through professional positions, but all of us have a collective responsibility to help build an inclusive Brockport. We are a community and we need to come together to talk about difficult topics in order to know how better to support our students and each other.
I am asking PCDI to help us identify EDI gaps, point out missteps, and assist in determining the best paths forward. They and I know that this charge is an ongoing one, and that it is necessary, but not sufficient. Similarly, part of the charge I have given Dr. Lorraine Acker as Interim Chief Diversity Officer is to engage with our campus community to learn what we’re doing well that needs to continue and identify opportunities for progress.
Dr. Acker announced Monday that she will be creating a student advisory board, and she is working with the OEDI team to determine what that looks like. We also will be engaging our larger community to understand their needs.
I am committed to making real change on our campus and I would like your commitment to do the same. As a community, we need to understand what measures can be put in place to hold ourselves accountable.
I look forward to working with everyone in our community to ensure this happens.