November 1, 2011


Diversity Task Force
October 31, 2011
2:30 pm

In attendance: Maryanne, Steve, Anne, Liza, Dan, Craig, Michelle, Laura,
Presenters: Brian and Claus 3 students

  • Progress Reports and Summaries are due to Liza
  • Aggressive December deadline in order to meet our timeline
  • Student Affairs Update will be sent via email by Liza
  • Curriculum Subcommittee
    • Anne met with Katie Conboy about the faculty task force about inclusion in the classroom. Provost Conboy shared insights and resources with Anne.
  • Student subcommittee
    • SGA Diversity Committee developed the "I am not a bystander" pledge. This will be shared and discussed tomorrow at the Town Hall. Faculty and staff are invited to sign the pledge as well.
  • Enrollment Subcommitee
    • Dan will share some admissions information at the Town Hall in order to dispel the myth about the alleged disparity between ALANA and non-ALANA students academic performance. The facts state that both student populations have relatively the same academic profile.
Brian and Claus Presentation
  • The approach to this model includes: Develop, Test, and Implement
  • It begins with cause and effect belief antecedents and developing a cause and effect model.
  • This Diversity Task Force has identified the following two outcomes:
    • Enhance students appreciation for the diversity of persons and cultures 
    • Equip students with the skills that they need to to engage and contribute to a diverse world
  • A model will be developed model that will then be presented to the committee to then test using surveys, field experiments, interviews, and objective data.
  • The lenses that will be used in this model are:
    • Demographics
    • Students are students (what are the drivers for people?)
    • Cosmopolitan (After reading a number of articles that discuss what the diversity drivers are, they have come to the conclusion that overtime approaches that single out ALANA populations has not yielded desirable outcomes.
      • As a committee we need to identify what kind of diversity do we want. As a Catholic college we respect human dignity, therefore we should value diversity. We need to work towards the creation of a culture that embraces diversity. 
  • Timeline
    • Path modeling session can be held in December
      • Process: Identify outcomes and facilitate session with stakeholders. At this meeting eveyrone will engage in a monitored brain-writing process.
    • Testing can begin during the Spring 2012 semester
·         Using this approach, the presenters will use the two goals that this taskforce identified, which inputs are infinite (increase number of diverse students, recruit diverse faculty and curriculum, increase opportunities for students to engage in diversity). The approach is to test what we think may work.
·         We need to identify abstract qualities to distinguish between concrete actions and the latent model where we want to understand and assess statistically. The idea of creating the  model is to get everyone on the same page in order to combine and organize the individual variables together to reach the goals set out by the committee.
o    After we identify the abstract variables/factors that we believe will be a cause to move forward, found in the strategic plan, the goal is to understand the latent model that drives towards diversity outcomes. How do we test each variable? Survey assessments, data, existing literature, field experiments, interviews, focus groups, and objective data. The process helps identify and take inventory of the strategic plan.
o    There are factors that we are unsure of which comes first, the testing provides the context for what steps to take.
o    We have all identified topics that are important (student retention, faculty recruitment, curriculum, and etc.). The question at hand is whether our focus is only a small percentage of the story? Are there other factors that will make the impact we are seeking? This process will provide a method and structure to determine what variables and factors are needed and most beneficial, allowing us to sequence the KPI’s already established in the Strategic Plan.
·         Conclusions
o    There are many great ideas based on intuition, however, if we introduce evidence and data into selecting the ideas that will provide success, this will be more beneficial. By testing the different factors we can identify the ones that work best and prioritize them.  We know that the sequencing of things is important. For example, do we create a  diverse environment before and in order for diverse students to come or do we bring diverse students and with them then create a more diverse environment.
o    Next Steps:
§  Schedule a meeting with presenters and a small group of the committee to identify what are the areas of interest, review data and review information.
Schedule a time December to have a brainstorming meeting with the entire committee.