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Campus Climate Task Force work continues

Wilma Bates of the Campus Climate Task Force makes a point at a recent meeting.

Wilma Bates of the Campus Climate Task Force makes a point at a recent meeting.

The Campus Climate Task Force continues the work of addressing the Illinois State University Campus Climate Assessment. Task force members have been soliciting recommendations from a wide array of campus affinity groups as well as the campus community at large.

The Task Force met in October to review a list of immediate actions that have the potential to be implemented in a 30-day period once approved. Suggestions ranged from allocating a place for Muslim students to pray, prominently featuring the research and creative works of Illinois State women scholars of color, and providing more access for employee affinity groups. The steering committee, which includes members from faculty, staff, students, and alumni, will present their first set of recommendations to President Larry Dietz and the sponsoring leadership team in December.

Logo with the words Diversity at State

The group also has identified several diversity-focused initiatives currently being implemented within Illinois State departments and units with the aim of expanding these initiatives more broadly on a campus-wide level.

“As we try to make change and address concerns, we have to make sure we are as informed as we can be about what is already being done on campus,” said Steering Committee Member Doris Houston. The Task Force examined many current efforts in the Illinois State Diversity and Inclusion Report.

The Task Force will now begin working on suggestions for short-term change that could feasibly be accomplished in one year.

The Campus Climate Assessment Report, commissioned by the University in 2015, was conducted by the Center for Race and Equity in Education and released in late April of this year. The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs spearheaded the effort. The 40-page assessment can be found on the President’s website.

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