Reasons why CODE demands a Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  1. A focal point of the mission and bedrock of Occidental College is the commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. It is the driving force of the college and became so ever since it was adopted in the early 1980s. It reinforces Oxy’s prestige as a superior liberal arts institution and gives the us a critical edge in a competitive field. In 1998 Occidental was number one in the country for diversity among colleges (US News and World Report) but it has fallen to #13 since then.

  2. It is challenging to maintain the vibrancy of the mission across all constituencies of the campus. From faculty hiring, retention, and promotion, to student academic achievement and extracurricular activities, and further administrative and budgetary priorities, the need to maintain the mission through careful planning and to track progress and accountability are difficult and often neglected.

  3. The task of maintaining the commitment to diversity and equity generally falls on a few faculty – those who feel personally aligned to the mission. This workload is part of the silent burden that many faculty of color (apart from others) experience – constant vigilance in the hiring, promotion, and retention process, as well as added advising, mentoring, and guidance for students.

  4. Students experience the impact of dealing with issues of diversity and equity first hand. They face the burden of representing the mission and educating white students about diversity – in their classrooms, dorms, and cultural clubs.

  5. Despite the various committees and clubs on campus dedicated to diversity, like ICC, the Diversity Committee, the Affirmative Action Committee – there is little or no coordination among them. Moreover, the same individuals are usually members of all these bodies, adding to overloaded work schedules.

  6. A VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is essential to coordinate, hold accountable, set goals, track progress, and propel our mission forward.

One thought on “Reasons why CODE demands a Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  1. Bianca Karim

    This is a great idea but may be a start. Good to think about what alumni can do to contribute to the process.


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