Last year, we witnessed a nationwide call to action to create anti-racism and equity practices at institutions of higher learning. Kent State University heard this call. Building on the university’s legacy of advocacy, including the 2016 Climate Study and Great Place Initiative, Kent State University will participate in a university-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. This planning process will move the university community forward in our efforts to create a more equitable, just and inclusive university, where all feel a sense of belonging.
The university-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan is housed under the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). This plan was inspired by strategic planning work by the University of Michigan, linked on our Toolkit page. We have created a how-to-guide to assist you with your planning and to keep you on track. The overall goal of this initiative is to build a high-level DEI plan that includes systems of accountability that will take care of all members of the Kent State community, build leadership and organizational capacity, and work to dismantle policies, procedures and process that marginalize members of our community.
Change requires all of us to participate. Each unit is responsible for creating a plan—so all departments, units and areas will participate in this process. Each unit will need to identify a high-level director or AVP-level person to lead their strategic planning process.
The strategic plan, at its core, is grounded in Kent State’s institutional values. This plan will establish a way forward that centers Kent State’s organizational learning and create a formal organizational structure to support change. The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is excited to assist all units with creating their DEI plans.