Launch event outlines new Diversity Plan


Brianna Marshall and Kerong Kelly, Staff Writer and News Editor

University President John Bravman unveiled the Five-Year Diversity Plan on April 3 at a launch event held in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts Lobby.

Bravman and Associate Dean of Students for Diversity Thomas Alexander presented the goals of the Diversity Plan and outlined the University’s longterm commitment to diversity. Bravman emphasized the importance of including the entire community, faculty, staff, and administration in the initiative. Although Ken Freeman ’72, Chair of the Board of Trustees, was not able to attend the event, his phone call was put on speakerphone so attendees could hear his support of the Diversity Plan.

“[The Plan] is building on what we already have, as well as implementing new programs. We have identified who will have responsibility for implementing different aspects of the plan,” Bridget Newell, Associate Provost of Diversity, said.

The 2014-2019 Diversity Plan will concentrate on promoting diversity on all university levels and in all aspects of campus life. The plan outlines four main areas of focus: institutional practices and policies, the composition of the University community, student learning, and campus culture and climate.

Drafted by Bravman and the members of the President’s Diversity Council, the Diversity Plan reinforces diversity as a University core value.

The University Diversity Statement defines diversity as a broad term that includes individuals that are “historically under-represented in higher education.” The Diversity Plan expands upon this explanation, including “age, class, culture, (dis)ability, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, immigration status, national origin, race, religion and spirituality, sex and sexual identity” as examples of potential sources of diversity. The goal of the Diversity Plan is to embrace and protect unique identities.

Diversity plan strategies include all members of the University community and involve efforts to attract a diverse faculty and staff in addition to a diverse student body. Greater support and appreciation for current student organizations with diversity missions will also be emphasized. Bravman announced plans to institute a “President’s Diversity Award” to recognize exceptional work by academic departments, faculty, and staff in the area of diversity.

The campus climate and the overall acceptance of diversity by current students are crucial to the success of the plan. Academics will be evaluated to ensure that diversity is represented as part of the student curriculum. By identifying unique perspectives and interests, the University can improve the overall satisfaction of the student community.

“The event provided an environment in which people from all corners of campus could come together under the common imperative of diversity at Bucknell.  President Bravman emphasized that each person on this campus will need to play a role in bringing Bucknell to where we all want it to be with regard to this issue.  I am happy that such a great amount of effort has been and will be put toward diversity, and I hope that such a great vision will become a reality for Bucknell,” Jack McLinden ’14 said.

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