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Campus Climate Momentum Continues

The Academic Senate will continue to build upon the momentum created last year around Campus Climate.

Last year the Academic Senate passed a resolution outlining foundational changes that were needed to improve campus climate at USC.  The focus of the resolution was on access, equity, and inclusion.  As a result of that resolution, as well as resolutions from the undergraduate and graduate student governments, the provost’s office created a Diversity Task Force comprised of faculty, students, and staff to address the recommendations of these resolutions.  The resulting actions taken last year by the provost’s office in response to the resolutions can be found in a memo he sent out to the campus community on April 19th, with the subject line “Update: Access and Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion.” Some of the major actions taken were:

  1. The decision to make the Diversity Task Force a standing Diversity Committee whose charge is to advise the provost on actions needed to make USC a leader in diversity and inclusion
  2. The posting of the university’s faculty and student demographic data
  3. The creation of diversity liaisons within each of the schools who will work with the deans to create 5-year diversity plans to address recruitment, retention, support, climate, and curricular issues
  4. Changes to the GE diversity requirement to clarify language around course content. There were many more actions taken.  Please see the memo for more details.

The Senate is committed to maintaining the momentum created last year.  In addition to having many representatives on the provost’s new standing Diversity Committee, the Senate’s own climate committee will continue its work in making recommendations to the provost to improve recruitment, retention, support, and climate for a diverse and inclusive faculty.  Part of its charge this year will be reviewing the summary document that came out of the Provost/Senate Enacting Access and Opportunity Retreat last year which contained many recommendations for change around inclusion and equity at USC.  The committee with consult with the executive board, which will submit a proposal to the provost about which recommendations should go forward, which should have priority, and who should be responsible for implementing them.  The committee will also take on other tasks, including making recommendations around the definition of diversity at USC.

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Ginger Clark
Past President of the Academic Senate
Assistant Vice Provost  for Academic and Faculty Affairs
Director of Center for Excellence in Teaching
Professor of Clinical Education, Rossier School of Education