Harrison announces campus action plan for improving diversity, equity and inclusion for CSUN’s Black community

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Chris Torres

Protestors raise their fists in support of the Northridge Black Lives Matter protest at CSUN in Northridge, Calif., on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. President Harrison sent out an email detailing CSUN's 10-point Campus Action Plan that aims to improve diversity, inclusion and retention of Black students, faculty and staff.

Sloane Bozzi, News Editor

CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison announced a new campus action plan aimed at improving diversity, equity and inclusion for Black students, faculty and staff on Monday.

The campus action plan’s goals include creating an inclusive campus environment and diversifying the student body and workforce on campus.

Working groups made up of students, faculty, staff and administration will help execute and devise solutions for the 10-point action plan.

The groups will also be responsible for providing progress reports to the President’s Cabinet and the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion by the end of the academic year. The commission will share updates with the president semesterly.

Harrison said the president will share annual updates regarding the progress of the working groups.

Here is a summary of the new campus action plan:

  • Recruit, retain and implement graduation plans for Black students, and reduce equity gaps for Black students through meeting with representatives at least twice per semester
  • Allocate funding and create a plan to recruit, retain and promote Black faculty, staff and administrators
  • Allocate funding and resources, as well as create an action plan, to establish an institute or center for Research and Resources on Equity and Black Culture
  • Support the Career Center in increasing engagement of Black students’ career readiness
  • Create an oral history project and art installation(s) the histories and contributions of local Black communities
  • Incorporate anti-racist and social justice in mandated training for faculty, staff and administration through partnerships between Human Resources and Black organizations on campus
  • Semester-long faculty learning communities that will incorporate anti-racism in the classroom will facilitated by Faculty Development
  • Create an annual Black Lives and Black Voices conference for fall 2021 in collaboration with the Black Faculty and Staff Association, Black Student Success Council and Black Alumni Association
  • Develop a fundraising campaign to be facilitated by University Relations and Advancement for scholarships, staff and faculty development, and the creation of the institute or center for Research and Resources on Equity and Black Culture
  • Secure funding for mental health support

Harrison said the university will create specific action plans to address diversity, inclusion and equity.

Michael Neubauer, the president of the Faculty Senate and member of the Commission of Inclusion, supports the plan put forth by the administration.

“I whole-heartedly support the goals laid out, and I think it will be a wonderful achievement if and when we reach those goals outlined in those 10 points,” Neubauer said.

Neubauer said some of the action plan’s goals can be achieved quickly, and others will require a much longer timeframe.

“We don’t just want something compartmentalized and siloed away. This needs to become part of the institution and how it operates rather than just an initiative that’s being tucked away somewhere and given little attention,” he said.

The Faculty Senate unveiled a list of demands this summer in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. The first demand was that CSUN create an action plan to support Black students. Neubauer said the plan is a step in the right direction and that he is satisfied with the goals of this plan.

“I do think that’s happening and there’s a sincere commitment, and I’m sure the incoming president would support that or will have to support it to be successful on this campus,” Neubauer said.

Harrison ended the email by encouraging the campus community to submit proposals for the Diversity and Equity Innovation Grant. The grant provides funding for projects that support traditionally underserved groups. Proposals must be submitted by Sep. 30.

 

Editor’s Note: Featured image was updated on September 2, 2020.