To achieve our goals of preparing students to become thoughtful, engaged citizens of the world, UNT must continuously grow as a diverse and inclusive community. To that end, we must ensure that values of diversity and inclusion are woven into the fabric of our university curriculum, activities, and planning efforts.
Student Support Taskforce for Diversity and Inclusion
With the goal of fostering a respectful community open to the diversity of ideas, thoughts, cultural perspectives and human identities, Vice President of Institutional Equity and Diversity, Joanne Woodard and Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Elizabeth With, issued a call to action in July of 2016 to establish a highly inclusive task force.
Since that time, a Student Support Taskforce comprised of students, faculty, staff, and other key stakeholders was formed under the direction of Dr. Teresa McKinney, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Shani Barrax Moore, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and Grant Hale, President of the Student Government Association. The task force began meeting in September 2016 to begin this important work, beginning with identifying the scope and charge of this initiative.
The Student Support Taskforce assesses and creates opportunities to advance the goal of an intentionally inclusive UNT community. Hosting several programs to date that provide students an outlet to share their perspectives on inclusion, this group will continue to consider ideas and proposals submitted by students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and advise the president and other university leaders on measures that hold the greatest promise to advance intentional inclusion.
Our commitment to excellence keeps us deeply connected to our efforts to attract and retain students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and perspectives. Such an environment will enable us all of us to do our best work and fully engaged.
The Task Force’s charge and scope includes:
- Research current literature and best practices for diversity and inclusion in higher education with a particular focus on universities similar to UNT;
- Review UNT student and employee demographics by instructional location, division and academic program;
- Identify current issues and factors helping and/or limiting a supportive campus climate;
- Develop short-term and long-term goals and strategies to create a more supportive campus climate for diversity and inclusion;
- Develop a comprehensive three-year strategic plan for Diversity and Inclusion;
- Establish a comprehensive communication plan to regularly report the progress and activities of the Task Force.
In conducting its review of current issues, the Task Force should consider the following areas:
- Faculty and staff hiring and retention practices;
- Diversity representation among faculty, staff, senior leadership, and other advisory groups;
- Curricular enrichment and integration;
- Faculty and staff professional development around inclusive practices and cultural humility;
- Student recruitment, retention, and intervention strategies;
- Student life programming and support strategies (with a particular focus on residential life, commuter students, student activities, and student leadership development);
- Community-building support and interventions;
- Parent/Family engagement, education and development.