Inclusion Implementation Plan will fold into next strategic plan

An upcycling event during 2013 MLK Day is pictured.
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Completing the university's Inclusion Implementation Plan does not mean the work of creating a welcoming campus is finished.

Jeanne Arnold, vice president for Inclusion and Equity, said the IIP will be folded into Grand Valley’s next iteration of its strategic plan. The IIP documents strategic initiatives from each college, division or unit related to making Grand Valley a more inclusive campus. Four action areas are highlighted: access and equity, campus climate, diversity in curriculum/co-curriculum, and organizational learning.

The IIP is posted online here. Arnold said slight revisions will be made to the document over the summer, including corrections and information about diversity work on campus before 2008.

Arnold applauded the campus community for both completing the IIP and implementing its action items. “This is a testament to what Grand Valley has done,” Arnold said. “We’ve taken what the literature says about inclusion and diversity and we’re doing it, we’re implementing it.”

Many initiatives from colleges and divisions are highlighted within the report, including completing Grand Valley’s fourth campus climate study, increasing efforts to hire faculty and staff members from underrepresented populations, adding new courses related to diversity/inclusion, and partnering with community organizations that focus on equity and diversity.

Other institutions and scholars have noted the university’s efforts. Damon Williams, noted national expert on diversity within higher education, devoted a case study in his latest book, "The Chief Diversity Officer," to telling Grand Valley’s story of creating a Division of Inclusion and Equity. Williams is vice provost and chief diversity officer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Arnold said much of the work of her division and the university will be led by the recommendations from the IIP, climate study and a report from the Gender Identity and Expression committee.

“These are the tools we will use to help us hone and create an even more welcoming environment,” she said.