News

October 3, 2011

President Weiss Announces Steps Planned to Improve Campus Climate

President Daniel H. Weiss sent the following email to the campus community today to announce steps being taken in response to recommendations from the Campus Climate Working Group:

Earlier this summer, the Campus Climate Working Group issued to me a series of recommendations resulting from the findings of the study and the town meetings held last fall.  I am grateful to the members of the Working Group for their diligent work, as they studied the results of the survey, listened to the concerns of the campus community, and formulated recommendations designed to help us improve the campus climate for all.

Overall, the committee outlines 17 recommendations grouped in three categories:  top priorities, immediate action steps, and additional recommendations.  I believe that there is significant merit in all of the recommendations and I have asked Provost Wendy Hill and Vice President Celestino Limas to coordinate our efforts to outline specific action and implementation plans.

Within the report, the Working Group proposed three action steps that could be implemented this fall.  The first suggestion is to hold a Student Leadership Retreat that “would break down the divisions among students with different interests and would provide diversity training to influential members of the campus.”  I have asked Dean John McKnight to take the lead on this and he will soon be communicating a “save-the-date” announcement about the retreat.  The second suggestion is “to investigate and address perceived faculty service inequities, particularly as they relate to gender.”  For this recommendation, I have asked Provost Wendy Hill to lead this process and to work with the appropriate governance structures of the Faculty.  The final immediate action step recommended by the Working Group is to “change the name of the Faculty Dining Room to something more inclusive and representative of the entire Lafayette Community.”  We will shortly outline a process for addressing this recommendation.

In addition, we will begin immediately to follow up on the suggestions relating to enhancing participation in College-wide planning, the establishment of an ombudsperson’s office, periodic reviews of workplace rules, and the development of a knowledge base for all community members on issues that impact diversity and inclusiveness.

These recommendations and other opportunities will help us to strengthen our commitment to diversity, inclusion and mutual respect.  We will update you periodically on all of our plans.

For the results of the Campus Climate Study and a copy of the Working Group’s recommendations, please see:  http://www.lafayette.edu/about/news/2011/01/21/campus-climate-study-results-discussed-in-%E2%80%9Ctown%E2%80%9D-meetings/).

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