Living Our Values
August 26, 2020
The following message was sent to LIM College students, faculty, and staff on August 26, 2020:
Dear LIM Community,
It is hard to believe the Fall 2020 semester begins in two weeks. While I am excited to start the semester and welcome students, faculty, and staff, I am also saddened by what I see occurring in our country.
The past five months have been unlike any other. In the midst of COVID-19, the nation has found itself confronting a multitude of social injustices—a pandemic within a pandemic. As recent as Monday, reports and video surfaced of an unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake, being shot in the back seven times by police in front of his young children in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Days prior, three transgender women—Joslyn Allen, Jaslene Busanet, and Eden Estrada—were victimized in Los Angeles for simply existing. There have also been other publicized instances within the last week alone.
These are the instances we know about, but what about all the instances not in the media? The College recognizes that we cannot be silent on matters of injustice and we are committed to ensuring the LIM community is one that not only understands diversity, equity, and inclusion, but one that values all that it brings. We understand the critical importance of taking strong and proactive measures to continually live and practice our core values and to improve our campus community.
Since May, the College has been feverishly working to center these values in our day-to-day endeavors. As we approach the Fall 2020 semester, we reaffirm the College’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and commit to launching various community-wide initiatives, including:
- Creation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan. This began with creating a Planning Committee, which will focus on collecting and analyzing feedback from community stakeholders to create a long-term, measurable DEI plan aimed at systemic changes in campus operations. This group will host focus-groups and facilitate a survey in the early weeks of fall to collect input from students, faculty, and staff.
- Hosting DEI workshops and providing continued opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to engage in conversations surrounding current events and various forms of media related to diversity and inclusion.
- Evaluating academic offerings and examining intersections of technology and accessibility to integrate best practices in the age of digital learning. This includes introducing new technology that is fully functional from a phone application, increasing accessibility and ease of use for a much broader group of users. This also includes working with our industry partners to bring a diverse group of professionals to campus for guest speaker events and networking opportunities.
- Reconsidering structures that inadvertently disadvantage students in academic registration. The College has decoupled course registration from financial holds, allowing all students to register for the upcoming semester on the same date.
- Examining equity in hiring, retention, and promotion of staff and faculty. This includes evaluating current faculty and staff demographics and considering opportunities to improve practice in this area.
This list provides just a partial sampling of some of the work that the College is undertaking; it is certainly not all-inclusive. We will continue to update the campus community as these initiatives take shape and will create opportunities for your feedback and engagement over the course of the Fall semester. This work cannot be done in isolation or in silos, and a collaborative effort across campus constituents is critical for us to fully realize our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as a part of LIM’s path forward. If you have questions regarding steps the College is taking or would like to get involved, please email Erica Monnin, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/Director of Housing and Residence Life at email@example.com.
We understand there is work to be done and LIM is committed to the journey and not momentary efforts. As we embark upon the Fall 2020 semester please know the College stands with our community and against injustice of any kind.
Elizabeth S. Marcuse, President