Our vision in CPASS is to develop and maintain an inclusive environment that celebrates the strengths, experiences and backgrounds of all students and employees. We are committed to recruiting, developing, and advancing a diverse College community. We will do this by providing equitable access to learning opportunities and professional experiences that prepare all members of the College to be agents of change regarding issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Working together we will make CPASS, WVU, and West Virginia better and healthier places to play, learn, work, grow, and live.
Overview of CPASS Dean’s Working Group on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Higher education is viewed by many as an institution that is free from racism, open to diversity of thought and discussion and a place where ideas and openness are valued. However, there are policies and practices in place within our institution and college that do not promote these crucial values.
With the goal of addressing policies and practices, making ourselves open to difficult but deliberate conversations and creating change within our unit, the CPASS Dean’s Working Group for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officially formed during the summer of 2020. In July, CPASS faculty, staff and graduate students were asked if they would like to volunteer to join this initiative. Sixteen individuals volunteered to participate.
During the initial meeting in August 2020, members of the working group discussed potential opportunities for change, explored best practices and made a commitment to work together to promote change. Three action-oriented subgroups were formed to address major areas of change needed within the college, and leaders of these sub-groups were established.
These three subgroups focus upon:
- Academic curriculum
- Recruitment and retention of students
- Recruitment and retention of employees
The charge given to the subgroups was to evaluate where the College currently stands related to these specific focus areas, identify potential action steps to promote change, develop a report to be delivered to the College and create a proposed implementation plan to enhance each area. The subgroups have begun collecting relevant quantitative data from college records, evaluating current policies and procedures and collecting qualitative data from important constituent groups within the College and beyond. The groups are developing goals associated with change and outlining strategies necessary to help CPASS focus on inclusivity in all our practices and create a unit that is welcoming to all who desire to join.
It is anticipated that the subgroups will present initial reports to the College by May 2021, with further discussions regarding prioritization and implementation taking place after that. Meanwhile, the entire working group has approved a CPASS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Vision Statement and connected with several units on campus, including the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, WVU Advance and the Faculty Senate Inclusion and Diversity Committee to help implement future change.
WVU Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion