President's Initiative on Inclusive Excellence
To advance our goal of creating a campus environment that is welcome and inclusive to all, I am pleased to announce the launch of the President’s Initiative on Inclusive Excellence. This is the next step along our pathway toward promoting an environment where all members of the UTSA community can engage, learn and thrive.
As you heard from our new Vice President for Inclusive Excellence Myron Anderson in his message last week, he has been busy familiarizing himself with our community and assessing all the diversity and inclusion efforts that have brought us to this point in our collective journey. These conversations shaped the initiative framework to coordinate our efforts moving forward.
Similar to the President’s Initiative on Preventing Sexual Assault and Misconduct launched earlier this month, this initiative will be led by an Inclusive Excellence Advisory Board (IEAB) charged with developing strategic approaches to broadly and systemically enhance the inclusivity of our campus.
Initially, three committees will be established to lead specific efforts within the inclusive excellence spectrum. I fully expect these will evolve as projects come to completion and committees morph to tackle new ones based on our highest needs.
- Cultural Intelligence – This committee is charged with sustaining, increasing and unifying the cultural intelligence of the UTSA community through new platforms enabling faculty, staff and students to acquire additional knowledge and tools for engagement. As a first step, this committee will work on the implementation of an online professional development training on diversity, inclusion and managing bias.
- Campus Climate – This committee will assess and develop strategies to improve UTSA’s campus climate through data collection and monitoring activities. The initial project of this committee will be to develop and implement a comprehensive campus climate survey at UTSA as a vehicle for identifying critical issues and assessing our progress over time. The work of this committee will be done in concert with UTSA’s existing Campus Climate Team, which monitors and facilitates the reporting of bias incidents on campus.
- Inclusive Recruitment – In an effort to increase the recruitment of diverse faculty and staff, this committee will explore and recommend new hiring strategies to advance UTSA’s inclusiveness goals. On the faculty side, this committee will work in tandem with the Provost’s Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative, specifically the Advancing Academic Excellence through Accelerating Faculty Diversity Hiring Program (FDP). On the staff side, they will work with Vice President for Business Affairs Veronica Mendez to coordinate efforts through Human Resources.
In addition to the efforts associated with this initiative, Dr. Anderson is working to set up the infrastructure for his new Vice Presidential unit. This will include putting mechanisms into place to support campus affinity groups, and evolving our existing Diversity & Inclusion website to expand and deepen its capacity as a comprehensive campus resource.
You are all encouraged to contact Dr. Anderson or the initiative chairs with any questions or thoughts you may have regarding your hopes and dreams for UTSA as a model for inclusive excellence. Dr. Anderson’s upcoming listening sessions for students and faculty/staff are another opportunity to make your voice heard. The more we support and contribute to this effort as a learning community, the more momentum it will have.