Diversity Action Plan
In spring 2004, GSLIS held a daylong retreat with the purpose of addressing ways to encourage diversity — among students and faculty, as well as throughout the curriculum. The following was developed based on the discussions held with faculty, students, and staff.
GSLIS Diversity Action Plan
1. Create a campus climate which models respect for difference and recognizes the value of diversity in achieving organizational and academic excellence.
- Create opportunities in GSLIS for diversity issues to be addressed, including convening GSLIS programs for the community. In 2004-05, to coincide with our curriculum revision process and to launch our program, we will highlight diversity in the curriculum.
- The following forums will also incorporate diversity issues: September Retreat (September 10, 2004); student coffees with the Dean (fall/spring semesters, 2004-2005); campus lecture (Spring 2005); third annual GSLIS Diversity Summit (June 2005)
- As a baseline, distribute an online survey on diversity in fall 2004 to faculty, staff, and students. Publicize the results in GSLIS, and use the feedback.
2. Ensure that every community member understands what diversity means in their work, and also ensure that each knows how to manifest that understanding.
- Include a diversity assessment in the Committee on Accreditation biennial report. Seek faculty, staff, and student feedback on the narrative.
- Organize annual "On the Same Page" readings by diverse authors and invite both campuses (and build on the reading group that already exists at our western Massachusetts program). This initiative will include faculty, students, and staff. Involve the Massachusetts Center for the Book, and provide free copies of books selected for readings.
3. Recruit, retain and advance faculty, staff, and students of diverse and traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.
- For all new faculty and staff hires, use minority recruitment resources, network with alumni, and write a report for each job search that incorporates the recruitment strategies used.
- Develop new strategies for recruiting students, starting by expanding the current mentoring program and taking advantage of our large School Library Teacher Program to recruit during Career Days. Use our alumni and professional networks to build on the current high school program. Advertise the GSLIS information sessions in publications read by more diverse audiences.
- Increased percentage of members of the GSLIS community of diverse backgrounds as measured through the ALA/ALISE statistics that we compile each year.
4. Integrate diversity into the curricula and co-curricula activities to ensure the "infusion of inclusion" necessary for the development of knowledge, skills and critical thinking.
- We are in the process of revising our curriculum. We began this year with the core courses and will move on to the elective courses in 2004-05. Thus we have a built-in mechanism for incorporating diversity into this work, and to report on it next year. By 2005-06, all core course areas will address diversity issues.
- As a professional school, we can approach diversity by looking at library and archival settings since our students will join these communities. Issues will include: serving diverse library patrons through community programming, reference, and collections; under-represented groups and library leadership; and, mentoring for diverse leadership. Most likely we will invite someone from one of the schools at the forefront of diversity curriculum design to participate.
- Increase the integration of diversity into the curriculum and measure the effectiveness as reflected in the learning outcomes that we voted into our curriculum this year.
5. Increase scholarly and professional activities pertaining to diversity (including research, presentations, publications).
- Recruit diverse and talented students from the high school outreach program, the College, and GSLIS to work on IT research projects currently underway.
- Write an article on our current diversity activities (high school program; diversity summits) for the alumni newsletter. Invite alumni to get involved.
- Research collaborations with others at Simmons as identified through Simmons-wide DAP.
- Incorporate the Massachusetts Center for the Book--jointly housed at Simmons/GSLIS and Hampshire College--around diversity reading programs, beginning with "On the Same Page."
- The Dean will create an incentive for faculty who incorporate diversity topics in their research. Currently, the most effective way to do that is through the Hollowell Fund for GSLIS faculty research.
- Increased scholarly and professional activities relating to diversity.