Strategic Directions

Drop Shadow

Diversity and Inclusion: Strategic Directions Workshop, February 8, 2005

[pdf file for printing]

Theme: Improve the campus climate for inclusion to facilitate recruitment and retention for targeted groups.

General Questions:

  1. What should a diverse and inclusive USD look like?
  2. How can USD measure success institutionally?
  3. How can USD establish accountability for success?

Discussants: Paul Bissonnette (discussion leader), Linda Baptiste (recorder), Michelle Camacho, Nancy Carter, Evelyn Diaz Cruz, Robert Fleming, Cheryl Getz, Judy Mantle, Pat Oliver, Miriam Rothman, Adam Saks, Dan Yourg.

Summary of Major Ideas

1. How will USD look when we have achieved diversity?
  • USD should look like the City of San Diego.
  • We need to use our surrounding communities (including the American Indian Reservations) as a pipeline for recruitment.
  • We need to reach out to the Hmong Community by visiting their community center sites.
2. Which comes first: getting numbers through sustainable recruitment efforts or offering the programming and support necessary to enjoy and benefit from diversity?
  • Athletics offers an effective model; they monitor students’ academic performance and prevent marginal students from falling through the cracks.
  • How can we extend this model to all at-risk students—especially the ones we have worked so hard to recruit?
  • One model is the “Posse Foundation,” which takes a group of students from an ethnically challenged location and brings them in as a group to the college so they can collectively support each other through the college experience.
3. How can we use the idea of supporting a “collective group” to enhance our recruitment and retention efforts? Why are the best and more diverse students going elsewhere?
  • Many schools are trying to recruit these students, and our financial aid packages are not competitive.
  • Our environment is not perceived as welcoming by persons of color.
  • We need an exciting curricular offering, such as ethno-musicology theatre for people of color—or drumming.
4. What channels of communication can we establish to promote inclusion?
  • Diversity Action Newsletter
  • Highlight academic articles that document the benefits of a diverse campus
  • Sponsor forums for conversations about diversity and inclusion
  • Externalizing teaching through portals
  • Involve students in retention efforts
  • Loyola Marymount University offers an “Academic Persistence Program”
    • Tier 1 – Peer mentor program
    • Tier 2 – Faculty mentors back up the peer mentors
    • Tier 3 – Reinvigorate academic support units (EOP, Bridge programs)

Action Items:

1. Inventory existing diversity programs and look for relationships.

2. Integration - identify what is working and eliminate what is not:

  • Summer Bridge Program
  • ES Program
  • EOP (Equal Opportunity Program)
  • Irvine Grant
  • Upward Bound
  • International Services, International Programs
  • United Front
  • First Year Experience Committee
  • Community Service-Learning
  • Women’s Center
  • Disability Services

3. Inclusion Action Plan for students, faculty and staff:

  • Establish peer support programs
  • Research what other universities are doing (RFP)
  • Make early contact with children of USD employees as potential students
  • Build relationship with American Indian tribes
  • Expand scholarship opportunities
  • Develop exchange programs for faculty and students with other colleges
  • Increase retention rate from 70% to 80% in 5 years