Dear Oxy Community-
Upon arriving as CDO in February, one of the first tasks assigned me was to chair the newly formed Oversight Committee for Diversity & Inclusion. This Committee was formed after the November occupation of AGC to ensure that the commitments made by the administrationwere met within reasonable and realistic timeframes. The Committee met in February and March and was updated by email in April.
The purpose of today's update is to inform the community of the current status of progress vs. the commitments the administration made on in response to original student demands from the occupation. A great deal of work has been directed towards completing the immediate goals and additional related concerns that naturally stem from the initial demands. Please see the grid below for a detailed update on that progress.
I want you to know that I see the demands as the beginning of an ongoing campus conversation which will continuously teach us how to support and care for each other. While we strive to embody our mission, there will be times when we are more successful than others. We will make mistakes and find ourselves in situations that magnify our imperfections. Occidental is and will always be a work in progress. I ask you to help me navigate through the good and the bad because it will make us a better community.
Original Demands: 11/13/15Administration Response on 11/20Summary of Action(s) Taken Since ThenLatest Status1Immediate removal of President VeitchNo. The President is committed to addressing the critical issues of diversity and cultural sensitivity at Occidental.No further action required.No further action required.2Promotion of the chief diversity officer (CDO) to a vice president levelYes.Agreed on 11/20/15COMPLETE3Increase the budget of the CDO’s office by 50 percentYes, operating budget will be increased by 50%.VP of Finance reallocated dollars on 11/25/15.COMPLETE
Funding for DEB is decided by ASOC.By student vote on 3/28/16, DEB is now funded by student body fee. CDO provided gap fundingCOMPLETEICA budget will be doubled (from $13,000 to $26,000).VP of Finance reallocated dollars on 11/25/15.COMPLETE5Creation of a fully funded and staffed Black Studies program, a demand that has not been met for over 40 yearsHiring of associate professor of African American Studies is already underway. This scholar will lead the development of a new minor in Black Studies. We expect that this minor will lead to the creation of a new major.Two senior level faculty specializing in African American Studies were hired by the American Studies department. This doubles the initial commitment and will help advance the process more efficiently.COMPLETE on commitment to hire new faculty. ON-TRACK to continue progress toward a minor and depending upon student response, a major in Black Studies.6Increase the percentage of tenured faculty of color by 20 percent by the 2017-18 school year and by 100 percent in the next five yearsThe Dean will work closely with the CDO and faculty to ensure a robust and diverse search process.As a result of outstanding work by faculty hiring committees, the majority (7 of 8) of the incoming cohort of tenured or tenure track faculty are people of color. Four African American women will join us this fall and one African American man will start the following fall. Protocols are being developed for the faculty Affirmative Action Committee. Hiring practices are under review to effectively use the Affirmative Action Committee and develop the role of the CDO.ON TRACK FOR COMPLETION. Of the seven new hires, six will start in 2016 and one will start in fall 2017.7Provide funding for Harambee, the student group for black men which has not received funding in five yearsYes. Funding is available through increased budget of ICA.Harambee's members decided to become a part of ICA. Harambee will be funded in the future through ICA.COMPLETE
9Immediate demilitarization of Campus Safety, which includes, but is not limited to, removal of bulletproof vests from uniform, exclusion of military and external policy rhetoric from all documents and daily discourse, and increased transparency and positive direct connection to the student bodyChief's Advisory Group (including students) will review campus safety policy and protocols and provide appropriate recommendations.Campus Safety Advisory Committee (CSAC) was formed and announced to campus on 12/15/15. A Campus Safety Town Hall was held for members of the Occidental community on 3/16. CSAC submitted final recommendations on 4/19 and the campus will be informed before the close of the semester.ON TRACK for recommendations to be shared with the community before the end of the semester. Implementation likely to take place in following months.10Immediate removal of LAPD’s presence on campusYes, absent emergency or required police business.Police league continued to use campus facilities per an existing contract. Contract expired in 3/16 and has not been renewed.COMPLETE11Ensure the continued existence of the ICA as a longstanding office on campusYes.On 12/15/15 J. Grady was named the Director of ICCCOMPLETE12Elimination of the first-year education program. In its place, restructure CSP classes to fulfill the original purpose of the CSP, which was to focus on issues around identityStudent Affairs will restructure FYRE to effectively address issues of diversity and cultural sensitivity. The Academic Planning Committee will review CSP and recommend appropriate changes to the faculty, Dean and President during the Spring 2016 semester.FYRE has been eliminated and elements have been incorporated into first year orientation. There will not be a required course for Fall 2016. The replacement program is being designed with input from faculty and administrators. The redesigned program will incorporate different learning models and be implemented in Fall 2017.ON TRACK: Curriculum changes will be discussed by the faculty during the 2016-17 academic year for implementation Fall 201713Hire much-needed physicians of color at Emmons Student Wellness Center to treat physical and emotional trauma associated with issues of identityThe College is committed to hiring diverse professionals to treat physical and emotional trauma associated with issues of identity.The College does not hire physicians but diversity is always considered when evaluating the practitioners and clinicians who support our students.COMPLETE