The recent communication from President Young regarding Texas A&M University responses to some horrendous behaviors on campus is something I think worth re-emphasizing for all of our attention.
- Invite discussion for action with a diverse group of leaders and voices to meet regularly with senior leadership will review current diversity and inclusion student, faculty and staff working groups and make recommendations for working with my senior leadership team and myself to meet with them. Texas A&M University will establish new strategies to combat hate and exclusion while fostering more inclusive values for our campuses.
- Honor Senator Matthew Gaines on our campus. Senator Matthew Gaines, the first African-American state senator from Washington County, was an important part of the establishment of the 12th Texas Legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 276, which created our university.
- Increase our efforts, with faculty input, on key programs such as the Accountability, Climate, Equity and Scholarship (ACES) Fellows Program. The ACES Fellows program promotes the research, teaching and scholarship of early career scholars, PhDs, bringing them to Texas A&M with the goal of maintaining a campus that affirms equity and fosters inclusion and belonging. Faculty and staff will help design additional programs that can help in recruitment and, importantly, retention of faculty through enhanced climate.
- Expand the footprint of the Department of Multicultural Services in support of underrepresented students. Supporting black and other underrepresented students with additional meeting space and support services is one of the largest needs in our growing campus community to ensure we help advocate for meaningful change. The department has rapidly outgrown its space.
- Advance President’s Council on Climate and Diversity (PCCD) reports to open for input, timed accountability. The PCCD cross-university reports are part of a robust, data-driven, peer-informed exercise annually during my tenure. These detailed summary reports will be made available during the fall in one place on a link from the home page. Working for a better climate and against racism is a total-university responsibility and this action will help us measure progress in a united way, and continue to reward creative impactful solutions with grants and support while holding us all accountable to progressing toward our goals.
- Recruit more underrepresented students. Texas A&M University has allocated an additional $5 million in scholarships for this purpose and we are continuing to develop additional resources to recruit the brightest and most diverse class of students to Texas A&M. We want to match our state demographics.
- Launch anti-discrimination bystander intervention training for the fall to educate and train the campus community to step in to stand up against racism and to foster a positive climate. This evidence-based module has been in development by the Office of Diversity and is being updated to launch in time for the return to classes in the fall. All sections of the first-year experience class, Hullabaloo U, will require the module’s completion. Additionally, current student staff and student leaders will be asked to complete the module as a requirement of employment or leadership position.
- Increase funding and visibility of the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute to connect research and scholarship to community action.
- Pilot assessments of TAMU required courses. Texas A&M introduced a Cultural Discourse (CD) requirement for first year students beginning in Fall 2019 in addition to International and Cultural Diversity (ICD) courses in place.
- Support student groups on voter registration on campus and in our communities.
Please let me know of any successes, updates and/or issues with the on-line delivery of any of your classes