In yesterday's November faculty meeting, President Brian Casey stood before the faculty and members of the administration and announced his plans for the remainder of the year regarding campus climate.
During his speech, Casey highlighted his plan for campus inclusion that will span not only the rest of his time as president of DePauw but what he hopes will become initiatives that will continue long after he has made the trek to Colgate.
Casey talked briefly at the start of his speech about the independent review community, which was created last week. They will have an important meeting within the next few weeks.
“Steps have been taken to address cultural change,” Casey said.
Along with the independent review Casey announced that the Board of Trustees decided last month to allocate money to the renovation of several multicultural student spaces on campus. Casey also stated that he has been raising additional external funds on his own for this effort.
The spaces that will be affected are those that are used by students of color, international students and LGBTQ students.
“Planning has begun to help us determine whether we should renovate the student affiliation houses on Hannah St. or to replace some or all of them,” Casey said, “these include the Women's Center, the Dorothy Brown House and the AAAS house.”
Planning efforts for these changes will involve the students who use these spaces.
Casey also stated that the creation of an LGBTQ dedicated house is currently in the works.
Jackson St. will also be undergoing some changes, as more lighting and safety measures will be put in place very soon. “We have identified a way to significantly improve lighting in that area,” Casey said.
Casey also identified the need for faculty and academic involvement in order to bring about a greater campus change.
“It is deeply important that the development of the academic program keeps pace with the development of campus improvements,” Casey said, “ We need to keep supporting this faculty in their work to transform the campus climate.”
Casey discussed some hiring and faculty development programs that will start being discussed to help create a more diverse faculty across all departments, spearheaded by vice president of Academic Affairs, Anne Harris. This will be a re-evaluation of the current system that DePauw uses to recruit faculty but has failed to bring more multicultural voices to campus.
Casey indicated that the inclusion of the “Power, Privilege and Diversity course” and the “International Experiences course” is projected to be in place in two semesters time.
Casey announced a SEED program that will most likely be implemented on campus within the next two semesters. SEED stands for Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity, and “is a peer lead professional development program that seeks to fill capacity for a more equitable curriculum, campuses and communities,” Casey said at the faculty meeting Monday.
Casey finished his speech by talking about the Diversity and Equity committee and their plan to create four working groups. These groups are:
1: Life cycle - What is the DePauw experience for faculty, students and staff from recruitment, enrollment to graduation and retirement.
2: Communication - How can we be more transparent and better communicate as a community, who do we want to be and what is the process of getting there.
3: Academic - Life and co-curricular planning
4: Community engagement - How do we build a stronger community engagement with Greencastle
Casey closed his speech to the faculty by stating that as a community we need to “Continue to think and learn but it is also time to act.”
No faculty responded to Casey or presented any questions regarding the information he delivered.