Strategic Diversity Plan: Section I

Introduction

In the liberal arts, exploration and discovery count for everything. For students and scholars of the liberal arts, knowledge and wisdom come from understanding and appreciating both similarities and differences in the world-whether in scientific fields, cultural or religious traditions, or social theories and beliefs. Consequently, they approach the world with profound respect and appreciation for its diversity and seek to understand their place as citizens of this planet.

The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to helping our students and faculty experience, celebrate, and learn from our diverse community and to encourage that diversity within their ranks and academic discourse.

This strategic plan contains our major diversity and inclusion initiatives for the next five years. Obviously, the plan is confined to the College and at what can be achieved from within the unit. The University is also developing a strategic plan that will contain a diversity component, and, as described in detail later in this document, the College envisions specific areas in which it can work with the University once the University appoints its chief diversity officer.

The overall structure of the plan is anchored on three main pillars. The first pillar, regarding faculty, manifests the College’s commitment to diversity through the recruiting and retention of underrepresented and minority faculty. The second pillar, which pertains to students, supports initiatives aimed at diversity and inclusion within the student body at the graduate and undergraduate levels. The third pillar seeks to engage the larger community of which the College is a part by promoting the goodwill of The University of Alabama, knowing that a good reputation is vital to attracting future recruits later. Worthy of note, initiatives may overlap or feed into others, but they are all aimed at contributing to diversity and inclusion within the College. They may also enrich other aspects of the mission of the College.

The remainder of the plan is organized as follows. Section II lays out the data about the College to provide the necessary context. Section III highlights a number of actionable items with respect to the core pillars of the plan, including ongoing items that the College intends to build upon. Section IV briefly summarizes initiatives reported by some departments. Section V finally winds up the plan with a list of measurable goals and the way they will be assessed. Rather than dwelling on lofty but unfeasible goals, the list focuses on meaningful goals that can be executed at the College level and can be measured over time.

The timeline of the plan is from the spring 2017 semester until the end of the fifth year in 2021. This is a dynamic plan, and there could be different areas of focus over the years — for example, increasing the number of women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), or supporting students and faculty that fall under the protection of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). The plan will be reviewed annually at the deans’ and chairs’ retreats to reflect on the initiatives and their outcomes.

More from the Strategic Diversity Plan

Download a PDF of this document.

This page: I. Introduction

II. Data and Context

III. Highlight Items

IV. Department Initiatives

V. Measurable Goals

Appendix : Assessment Matrix