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Communique items for Apr. 21

Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak Memo to Campus
April 21, 2006

To the campus community:

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity, a three-campus CU System-based effort, has issued 18 draft recommendations about improving campus diversity. I am pleased to provide these recommendations to you as well as to outline how these ideas will be part of a process to construct a new UCCS strategic plan for diversity.

The commission’s recommendations are broad-ranging and include long-range ideas to items that I believe can be quickly undertaken. I am appreciative of the commission’s thoughtfulness and the clarity with which many members see issues facing CU.

The commission’s recommendations appear below. I emphasize that these are in draft form. Over the next few weeks, we will have the opportunity to respond to them. By June 26, the commission will complete its work and compile a final set of recommendations for UCCS and the other CU campuses. I believe these recommendations will be helpful as we plan the future of our campus and achieve our stated goals of both being a premier comprehensive regional research university and creating an enriching campus environment that values all of its members.

The recommendations are one input into a process that I believe must fully engage the campus community if it is to be successful. I believe we must go beyond the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission to create our own strategic plan for diversity that, among other things, expands on the commission’s traditional definition of diversity.

Beginning next week, we will engage faculty, staff and students in discussions about the Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations in order to help prepare a campus response. This will also begin our own efforts to create a strategic plan for diversity that builds on the success of our previous efforts and prepares us for the future. I envision many more campus discussions during the summer and early fall as this strategic plan is created.

If you receive an invitation to one of these small group discussions, I encourage you to attend and to actively participate. I encourage supervisors to provide time for staff at all levels to participate. This helps ensure multiple viewpoints are expressed. I encourage you to review the recommendations and to share your thoughts by e-mail. There is considerable background about the commission and its efforts at http://www.uccs.edu/blueribbon/

Your support for our campus goal of an enriching campus environment is valued as are your thoughts about how we achieve this goal.

Respectfully,

Pam Shockley-Zalabak
Chancellor

Abbreviated draft Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations:

Recommendation 1: In order to ensure increases in minority faculty, make the diversity of a department primary criterion in awarding tenure and tenure-track positions.

Recommendation 2: Create compensation and resources for students who are ambassadors and recruiters for UCCS in minority communities and secondary schools.

Recommendation 3: Create compensation and resources for faculty who participate on faculty recruiting committees and in mentoring programs.

Recommendation 4: Increase internships in academic classes to support tutoring, mentoring, and recruiting done by students.

Recommendation 5: Implement measures to make the campus more commuter friendly, i.e. student space, commuter-oriented websites, extended operational hours of facilities and services.

Recommendation 6: Increase the capacity of the University system to support all students through better leveraging of technology.

Recommendation 7: Create opportunities for non-traditional students to be informal mentors and role models for traditional students.

Recommendation 8: Establish measurable goals for diversity (e.g. based on ethnic, sexual orientation, faith based associations) within the Chancellor’s Leadership Class by collaborating with programs (i.e. Pre-Collegiate and community programs such as the Pikes Peak Educational Foundation).

Recommendation 9: Expand ways of publicizing student events, especially diversity events, across the student body and faculty/staff.

Recommendation 10: Publicize throughout Southern Colorado diversity successes at UCCS.

Recommendation 11: Create a visible location (student space) for UCCS multicultural affairs in the University Center as soon as possible.

Recommendation 12: Strategically target industries and professions that align well with UCCS’ programs to gain funding for scholarships for under-represented students and involve those businesses in other aspects of the UCCS campus.

Recommendation 13: Leverage best practices and lessons learned from the partnership between UCCS and Pikes Peak Community College to other community colleges in Southern Colorado.

Recommendation 14: Mandate diversity training for students, faculty, and staff.

Recommendation 15: Incorporate the topic of diversity in the curriculum in all schools.

Recommendation 16: UCCS should approach their diversity plan based on their projected campus growth.

Recommendation 17: Leverage the industry-university model and extend to make it a university-high school model. Establish relationships with high schools in this region.

Recommendation 18: As we examine the full system, think about how UCCS falls into the system. Leverage successful programs from across campuses to work on individual campuses. Get some consolidation of efforts across campuses. At the same time, look at what still needs to be done at UCCS. We've heard success stories, but not much time has been spent on failures or shortcoming. Need to look are what we're not doing well.