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Thursday, October 7, 2010

UMD Organizational Structure to Create a More Inclusive Campus Climate

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to articulate the responsibilities of and the relationships between the elements of a new campus organizational structure that will support and advance social justice values of inclusion, equity and diversity. This is an ambitious and worthy goal that will require campus-wide engagement and commitment. I expect efforts to focus on organizational change, fostering collaboration, and aligning actions and priorities to optimize effectiveness and resource utilization.

I announced two weeks ago that the elements of this new organizational structure are the Leadership Team, Campus Change Team, Unit Change Teams and the External Consultants. I am pleased to announce that Bilin Tsai, Interim Associate VCAA, and Susana Pelayo Woodward, Director of the Office of Cultural Diversity, will Co-Chair the Campus Change Team. They will report to me directly and through the work of the Leadership Team.

I. Leadership Team for an Inclusive Campus Climate
a. Membership: Chancellor, Vice Chancellors for Academic Administration, Academic Support and Student Life, Finance and Operations, and University Relations, a dean, a tenured faculty member, a staff member, an Executive Committee of the Campus Assembly member, and the Co-Chairs of the Campus Change Team.
b. Provide campus leadership.
c. Receive, review and prioritize recommendations and goals.
d. Allocate resources (funds, space, personnel, etc.).
e. Manage communication plan for internal and external constituents.
f. Lead discussion and revision of mission, core values, and goals with respect to inclusion.
g. Provide oversight for implementation of approved recommendations.

II. Campus Change Team (CCT) for an Inclusive Campus Climate
a. Membership: CCT Co-Chairs, one member from each vice chancellor unit, one member from each collegiate unit, three students, and representatives from current commissions.
b. Report to the Leadership Team
c. Foster development of campus equity and diversity action plans. Research plans with
respect to feasibility, cost, and timeline. Make recommendations to the Leadership Team.
d. Build and maintain liaison, alignment and communication with other campus units, campus populations, and the community.
e. Facilitate publicity and promotion of events and programs that contribute to an inclusive
campus environment.
f. Provide regular reports to Leadership Team and campus.

III. Unit Change Teams (UCT) for an Inclusive Campus Climate
a. Membership: To be determined at the Unit level.
b. Develop and recommend equity and diversity action plans to Unit and/or to CCT as appropriate
c. Report to Dean, Vice Chancellor or Director
d. CCT member serves on UCT as appropriate
e. Responds to and works with CCT

IV. External Consultants: Kathy Obear and Jamie Washington
a. Provide technical expertise to build internal capacity to sustain change efforts
b. Provide workshops and leadership development as appropriate

Our success in creating an inclusive campus environment will rest to large extent on the commitment by the members of the various teams and their willingness to work diligently, respectfully and collaboratively. I will initiate a process for seeking nominations and then identifying members of the Leadership and Campus Change Teams, and I will ask unit heads do the same for the Unit Change Teams. In addition, I am well aware that that without broad support and engagement by many others, we will not achieve our aspirational goals. The following quotation reflects my own view of how we can be successful.

"Equity and diversity efforts must be led not only by people with formal authority, but also by faculty, staff, students, and administrators at every level of operation and responsibility."

From Reimagining Equity and Diversity: A framework for transforming the University of Minnesota

Please let me know if you have comments, suggestions, or questions. Thank you for your cooperation and ongoing efforts to create a premiere inclusive campus environment.


Lendley C. Black