Faculty Senate resolution on Diversity and Inclusion

From Faculty Senate President Holly Alford: “Dr. Rao is aware and grateful for the resolution which solidifies his statements on Diversity and Inclusion. I want to thank all Senators for helping to speed up this process and for your willingness to take part in crafting this resolution.” Please share with your faculty colleagues.

Download: Faculty Senate Resolution On Diversity and Inclusion (Final) [PDF]

Text of resolution:

Virginia Commonwealth University Faculty Senate Resolution on Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Whereas VCU’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has been expressed in word and in action through the Quest for Distinction Strategic Plan, the Division for Inclusive Excellence and associated advisory groups (i.e. the Council for Inclusive Excellence and Equity, Inclusive Learning Council, Diversity Groups, President’s Action Group on Diversity & Inclusion), plus several other organizations and initiatives;

Whereas VCU is a highly diverse institution with half of the VCU student body reporting as minority race/ethnicity (http://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg01_tmpl.jhtml?schoolId=1565) and with 1,600 international students representing 108 countries (http://international.admissions.vcu.edu/);

Whereas VCU encourages global education through programs such as VCU Globe: A Global Education Living-Learning Community and VCU Qatar; and

Whereas VCU seeks to recruit, train, and maintain diverse faculty through efforts such as iCubed (Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation) and Building Inclusive Communities; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the VCU Faculty Senate:

  1. applauds the message of President Rao to “reaffirm our commitment to inclusion, to ensuring that every person who comes to VCU is respected and emboldened to succeed. We reaffirm that we will always be a place of the highest integrity, accountability, and we will offer an unyielding commitment to serving those who need us;”
  2. will undertake as needed and encourage appropriate actions to ensure the rights of all individuals, including but not limited to any group, regardless of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), political affiliation, veteran status, family medical and genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or immigration status, to pursue their educational goals with human dignity and in safety;
  3. promotes the core values of respect, civility, equality, open-mindedness, and the free spirit of inquiry, and denounces all acts that create a climate of fear and hatred, bigotry or misogyny. Such acts threaten VCU’s mission as a public research university to advance knowledge and student success; and
  4. affirms our commitment to lead efforts and initiatives that strive for inclusive excellence.

Passed by unanimous vote of all those present at Faculty Senate November, 29, 2016

Meeting today, 11/29 at 4 p.m. – MCV Campus, Larrick Center Court End Ballroom

Senators – see you later today at the Larrick Center, MCV.


Download 11/29 agenda as PDF

Today, Monday 11/21: Panel on Working with Distressed and Distressing Students

Working with Distressed and Distressing Students: Creating an Accommodating Culture of Learning

working with distressed students flyerThis panel discussion will provide academic leadership an opportunity to talk with a variety of experts about a range of issues and learn about available resources.

Monday, November 21, 2016
3-5 p.m.
Monroe Park Campus University Student Commons, Virginia Rooms C/D
Register: http://bit.ly/rsvpNov21

For additional information contact VCU Faculty Affairs at (804) 828-6162.

Meeting Agenda: Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. – Monroe Park Student Commons Ballroom A and B

Senators: see you tomorrow, Tuesday November 1 at 4 p.m. in the Monroe Park Campus Student Commons Ballroom A and B, for our November meeting.

November 1, 2016 Agenda

Download November agenda as PDF

  • Call to order and welcome – Holly Alford
  • Minutes Oct 4th meeting – Brian Daugherity (5 mins)
  • Guest
    • Center of Teaching and Learning Excellence – Katherine Bassard and Enoch Hale (15 mins)
  • Senate Business
    • Provost Report – Provost Gail Hackett (15 mins)
    • Alumni Relations/Student Relations – Jose Alcaine (10 mins)
    • BOV meeting in December – June Nicholson and Holly Alford (10 mins)
    • Advocacy Day – Pat Cummins and Carmen Rodriguez (5 mins)
    • President’s report – Holly Alford (10 mins)
    • Senate elections – Joan Pellegrini (5 mins )
  • Round table discussion: Ian Kunkes, Student Disability Services – Scott Street

October 4 Senate meeting summary and full minutes

This is a summary of the October 4 Faculty Senate meeting. You can also read the complete minutes [PDF]Our next Faculty Senate meeting is November 1, 2016 4 – 6 p.m. at Monroe Park Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballroom A-B.

Please e-mail Brian Daugherity at bjdaugherity@vcu.edu with any questions or corrections.

VCU Heath Update (Marsha Rappley)

  • Rappley discussed the mission of VCU Health and plans for new facilities (including the Children’s Pavilion, the Virginia Treatment Center for Children, and the Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Wellness Center), as well as plans for outdated facilities (including West Hospital, North Hospital, Nelson Clinic, and the Ambulatory Care Center).

Accessibility and Reasonable Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities (Paula McMahon)

  • McMahon discussed the mission of Equity and Access Services (EAS) and noted VCU’s plan to update its accessibility and access plan in the near future. This office focuses on allowing qualified individuals with disabilities to enjoy equal opportunity.

Provost Report (Gail Hackett)

  • The Provost discussed searches, interim deans, and promotions. The Provost also discussed the need for a new VCU strategic plan (after Quest), with a tentative deadline of summer 2018, and plans for the Real World Experience (VCU’s experiential learning component). Finally, the Provost announced that VCU’s plans to give raises to faculty this year have been deferred.

BOV September meeting update (June Nicholson)

  • Nicholson, faculty representative to the BOV, discussed her September report to the BOV, during which she highlighted shared governance, diversity and inclusion, and faculty-led interdisciplinary programs. Nicholson also thanked Dr. Kathy Bassard and the Provost’s Office for its presentation on the promotion and tenure process.

Branding the Senate (Scott Street)

  • Street noted that he and Holly Alford have attended a variety of meetings at units throughout VCU this semester to inform them about the goals, responsibilities, and initiatives of Faculty Senate. Street also indicated that Faculty Senate would like to purchase items to help brand the Senate and spread knowledge of its work.

President’s Report (Holly Alford)

  1. CTLE (Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence): The Faculty Senate Leadership Group met with Enoch Hale, new director of the CTLE, and offered ideas about its priorities and focus
  2. BOV Luncheon: Faculty Senate leaders will take part in the next BOV meeting in December, including a pre-meeting dinner.
  3. Senate Forum: The Faculty Senate plans to sponsor a forum related to academic freedom and freedom of speech, in conjunction with the Provost’s Office.
  4. Presidents Forum Oct. 13: President Alford noted that Faculty Senate has been involved in the planning and development of the president’s forums on social justice,

Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan (Holly Alford/Mary Secret)

  • Alford and Secret discussed the draft of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan, developed by the Council of Inclusive Excellence and Equity. Key aspects: (1) institutional commitment [communication; infrastructure; accountability]; (2) climate and intergroup relations [living, learning, and working]; (3) recruitment, retention, and success [student and faculty]; (4) education and scholarship [research initiatives; diversity-rich learning]; (5) assessment