Goal 3: Inspiring a Campus Culture of Inclusive Excellence, Support and Collaboration

The extraordinary ethnic and cultural diversity, both of American society and the broader world, shapes both our academic community and the curriculum of the University. Key to that is a campus community in which faculty, staff and students represent the diversity we find in our broader community. A diverse and inclusive campus community brings irreplaceable value to SU’s educational experience and work environment and strengthens the entire University. We strive to create a truly diverse and inclusive environment where we harness the richness of ideas, backgrounds and perspectives of the community to create student learning opportunities and value for the institution, today and into the future.

Through Goal 3, the University will develop and implement the components of a comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan. By exploring ways to expand benefits, recognition and rewards programs, the institution hopes to improve the recruitment and retention of all faculty and staff. The University values and cultivates learning not only among its students but also for faculty and staff as well. SU will continue to expand professional development opportunities and create inclusive spaces that support networking, foster professional growth and inspire innovative ideas. Through the collection of these strategies, the institution hopes that all members of the campus community feel a sense of belonging and connection.

Objective 3.1 - Create a holistic diversity and inclusive excellence plan.

  • Strategy 3.1.1. Assess and enhance SU’s culture through a comprehensive campus climate study and implement strategies, including training, to address outcomes from the study.
  • Strategy 3.1.2. Expand professional development programs for students, faculty and staff that focus on developing a safe and welcoming climate and culture built on respect for diversity and inclusion.
  • Strategy 3.1.3. Review opportunities for synergies and alignment between the offices of Institutional Equity, International Education, Cultural Affairs and Multicultural Student Services and inventory the resources and programs available and consider additional opportunities to expand or consolidate efforts.
  • Strategy 3.1.4. Ensure diverse representation among various campus populations, including on constituent governance groups (i.e., Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Adjunct Faculty Caucus, Graduate Student Council and Student Government Association).
  • Strategy 3.1.5. Maximize the use of more inclusive language to speak to and describe students and their contexts.

Objective 3.2 - Enhance our faculty and staff recruitment strategies (see Goal 1 for student recruitment).

  • Strategy 3.2.1. Enhance the search process based on documented best practices to more effectively diversify our applicant pools.
  • Strategy 3.2.2. Create an inclusive and comprehensive onboarding process for new faculty and staff, including specific resources to assist with the acclimation and retention of our diverse faculty and staff.
  • Strategy 3.2.3. Explore additional opportunities for teaching post-docs for faculty positions to increase diversity among faculty.
  • Strategy 3.2.4. Explore a dual-career partner assistance hiring program.

Objective 3.3 - Review our recognition, benefits and compensation programs to improve retention of faculty and staff.

  • Strategy 3.3.1. Develop a more comprehensive rewards and recognition program to celebrate faculty and staff accomplishments.
  • Strategy 3.3.2. Evaluate the impact of developing and implementing additional employee benefits programs to boost morale and support a healthy work-life balance.
  • Strategy 3.3.3. Develop a plan to address issues of compensation and salary compression.

Objective 3.4 - Encourage professional development and socialization for faculty and staff.

  • Strategy 3.4.1. Expand opportunities for faculty and staff to interact and socialize with one another inside and outside work.
  • Strategy 3.4.2. Facilitate, support and celebrate faculty and staff research, scholarship and creative activity.
  • Strategy 3.4.3. Evaluate and expand resources for faculty development and recognition in the area of teaching, learning, mentoring and assessment, perhaps through the development of a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and/or Faculty Teaching Fellows program.
  • Strategy 3.4.4. Provide opportunities for faculty and staff to engage in outreach activities, including service as experts in their field, within the local community.
  • Strategy 3.4.5. Develop robust faculty and staff mentorship and leadership development programs, especially for underrepresented groups.

Objective 3.5 - Create and promote the use of welcoming and inclusive campus spaces aligned with the Facilities Master Plan.

  • Strategy 3.5.1. Enhance access to and circulation among campus spaces.
  • Strategy 3.5.2. Create additional housing options to meet the needs of contemporary students (e.g., apartment-style, family housing, graduate student housing, international student housing).
  • Strategy 3.5.3. Explore opportunities to expand multi-use facilities.

Objective 3.6 - Encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of faculty, staff and students to foster creativity, research and innovation.

  • Strategy 3.6.1. Reconsider faculty workload allocation to provide greater flexibility for scholarship, innovation and creative activity as allowed by the new USM policy.
  • Strategy 3.6.2. Identify financial resources to provide seed or matching funds for projects that support the University’s mission and that have a high likelihood of success.