Dear Campus Community,
I’m writing today to tell you about the important first steps we have taken toward our shared goal of eliminating racism and creating equity and justice on our campus. I’m personally committed to this important, long-term work, and I invite you to participate in what must be a collective effort to move it forward.
In October, more than 500 of you attended Time to Act, a daylong virtual equity summit led by Ame Lambert, her team in the office of Global Diversity & Inclusion and taskforce members. I am grateful to them for successfully bringing to life their vision for this event, and I am grateful to every person who participated in the summit, for it represented a fresh start for PSU.
At the summit, we heard from elders in the racial justice movement, were uplifted by artistic expression by members of the PSU family, and experienced a feeling of community. We heard about existing equity and justice efforts and promising practices across campus. The summit gave us the chance to think about the university we want to become. And it gave us the opportunity to begin developing authentic strategies that can be transformed into bold action. I encourage everyone to visit the Equity Summit landing page for the day’s highlights and invite you to share your thoughts and ideas through this form.
To be direct, this is not the first time our campus has attempted to engage in this work. Some of you with a history of service to this campus and this cause may be wondering if the work we began at the summit will actually lead to meaningful change. I can assure you that it will.
Promoting equity and justice at PSU is the most important work of my presidency. It will allow PSU to live up to our mission and our aspirations. This work is complex and layered, requiring care, thought and time. I will continue to listen, learn and build my capacity to lead this work.
Our goal is to leverage the goodwill and momentum generated at the summit to get to the action items so longed for on our campus. Many on our campus have offered to collaborate together on one of five cross-campus task groups we convened at the summit. The task forces are now preparing three primary recommendations in each of their subject areas. These 15 priorities will be vetted by the campus in a few months and the most popular will qualify for funding through the Racial Equity and Justice Fund.
We will have more news to share in the coming weeks and months. Thank you for your willingness to make meaningful change, and thank you for your commitment to equity at PSU.