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Eastern Launches Diversity and Inclusion Planning Initiative

     In the past year, Eastern University’s Organizational Design Task Force (ODTF) has analyzed the students, faculty, staff and administration of Eastern in regard to racial, ethnic and gender diversity. The task force has found that there are certain groups that are severely underrepresented within Eastern’s community. In response, President Robert Duffett has charged Executive Vice President of Marketing, Innovation and New Ventures, Tom Ridington, with the mission of creating a diversity and inclusion-focused task force. This task force will formulate and submit recommendations in regard to increasing and improving the recruitment of “underrepresented individuals for Eastern University leadership, faculty and staff positions.”

     The Diversity and Inclusion Planning Task Force will be comprised of two parts: the Core Working Group and the Review and Appraisal Council. These groups are comprised of a variety of Eastern faculty, staff, administration and students who feel impassioned about this cause and are eager to seek and find different ways that the University can further enrich its community through greater diversity and inclusion. Dr. Duffett views the creation and mission of this task force as a reflection of Eastern’s being a part of the church and how God’s vision for the church is that of vibrancy and diversity: “As an institution of the church, Eastern University will be enriched by a plan shaped by our theological and educational mission that facilitates deeper understanding of diversity and inclusion and a deeper sense of satisfaction across our community.”

     This step forward in furthering diversity on Eastern’s campus reiterates the University’s commitment to create and sustain an educational environment that is vivified by “persons of different ethnicities, ages, academic programs, nationalities, genders, economic backgrounds, political views and ways of understanding the Christian’s place in the world.” It is the hope of Duffett and the Diversity and Inclusion Planning Task Force that through this fostering of diversity Eastern can further inform, educate and embolden its dedication to faith, reason and justice.

     The task force has only recently begun this important task; however, it is hoped that through cross-demographical discussion and debate Dr. Ridington and the other members of the task force will be able to make and submit formal recommendations by July 1, 2017.

     We look forward to seeing the results of the current and future efforts of the Diversity and Inclusion Planning Task Force and to participating in the discussion generated by their mission. Please feel free to contact the task force with your well wishes and ideas at evp@eastern.edu.

     Source: eastern.edu

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