Diversity Engagement Survey: Next Steps

Dear Colleagues,
Soon after my arrival I became aware of the important work underway to better understand and improve our institutional culture. Led by Dr. Julie Servoss, our Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, this initiative has been insightful and constructive.  

We are now poised to begin to take the type of actions necessary to make our College an even better place for all of us to call "home."  Below, is an update and summary of our plans for moving forward.

I hope that you will all take a moment to review it.

Arthur J. Ross III, M.D., M.B.A.
Interim Dean and Professor

Dear Colleagues, 
The Office for Diversity and Inclusion has been hard at work following the completion of the Diversity Engagement Survey (DES) in January. The DES and follow-up qualitative survey identified key areas of need and concern. In an effort to respond quickly while creating lasting and positive improvements, we have begun identifying and implementing changes. The summary below is by no means an exhaustive list of what will happen or what needs to happen. Rather these are the first steps on the road to changing the institutional culture and climate at the College.
We are engaging in the following activities in partnership with key stakeholder groups at the College and the University:
  1. In partnership with Human Resources and Equal Opportunity Programs, we are working to create a College-specific training for faculty and staff to change the culture of fear and to provide clear and accessible paths for all employees to report concerns about their work environment and to receive support and guidance on resolving the issue.
  2. In partnership, the Administrative Leadership Team (Steve Bender, Debra Bradley, Mavis Brown, Bill Donelan, Diane Fitz, Mark Goldstein, Audra Lazarus, Monica Lopez, MK Morales, Carrie Perez, Wies Rafi, Deborah Roski and Beth Swerdloff) will plan professional development lunch and learns, develop a description of units and individual staff functions tied to College's mission, plan community service events and create a mentoring program.
  3. In collaboration with Faculty Affairs and Academic Affairs, MedWrite, the IMS and BMS department leaders, we are working on enhancing new faculty orientations, enhancing the current mentoring program and faculty development offerings. 
My goal is to have all these initiatives (and more) outlined in the College Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. The plan will be released in the Fall for faculty and staff input and, most importantly, participation! Please continue to stay tuned. The College is moving forward and upward, and this progress could not be achieved without your engagement and thoughtful input. I welcome anyone who would like to sit down with me to discuss further. Changing our culture requires a team effort and I envision my role and the role of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion as facilitating and supporting positive change for our college. 

Julie C. Servoss, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Nirmala Prakash, Ph.D.
Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine | Dean's Office