Senate Resolution on Ad-hoc Diversity Committee

BE IT RESOLVED: That the SSU Academic Senate will immediately constitute an ad hoc committee, chaired by a faculty member, to assess Diversity on campus beginning this semester in terms of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including sexual harassment and sexual assault), sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability, medical condition and covered veteran’s status (as articulated in the University’s Non-Discrimination Policy). The committee shall serve during the 2008-2009 academic year. Voting members of this committee will consist of a representative from each academic school, one member from the library, one SSP; non-voting members will include two students, one staff, one member from Extended Education the Vice Provost, Academic Affairs, the Vice President for SAEM, and the Director of Employee Relations and Compliance or their designees and a CFA Affirmative Action representative. The charge to this committee will be to engage in a comprehensive review of the history and current status of Diversity at SSU at all levels, including (but not limited to): curriculum; faculty, staff and student activities for recruitment and retention and graduation or promotion; institutional programs; funding sources, and administrative support. It is also recommended that the committee expand its scope to include socio-economic status. This committee will report its findings to the Senate as part of a coherent, articulated Diversity assessment with prioritized recommendations for action. The recommendations would include targets, implementation strategies, time-lines and funding benchmarks. This ad hoc committee will conduct regular open sessions to facilitate a campus conversation about Diversity and it will establish a web link to the SSU homepage for discussion of issues and reports of progress achieved.

RATIONALE: The concern regarding an institutional lack of commitment to issues of Diversity was an issue in the vote of no confidence in the President and is of continuing concern to Sonoma State University. While efforts on behalf of Diversity have been made, a number of successful programs whose roles directly related to the University's support of Diversity efforts have been eliminated, reduced in scope, or have support positions that remain unfilled (Re-Entry, ICC, WRC, DSS, etc. as summarized in a document developed by the Academic Planning Committee and available at These programs comprised critical aspects of the university’s response to Diversity and compliance with state and federal expectations and CSU guidelines, needs which were highlighted by the recent racist attacks directed at the candidates for ASI President and the statements made by students at the Town Hall meeting earlier this week. On 3/6/08, the Senate passed a Resolution Regarding Sonoma State Academic Senate Response to the Spring 2007 No Confidence Vote with Enhanced Institutional Commitment to Diversity that articulated key areas of concern. The Ad Hoc Committee of the Senate constituted to address remedies for the "no confidence vote" ( May 2007) has held two open sessions for the campus community in March and April of 2008 in which concerns were raised and suggestions made to address and remediate Diversity concerns which are reflected in this Resolution. The current draft of the University Strategic Plan has a goal of increasing student, faculty, and staff diversity and incorporating cultural diversity awareness and competence in all aspects of University operations, but its objectives primarily call for development of plans without any specifications for implementation, and which does not address the need to diversify the faculty and staff nor appear to respond to more than diversity based on ethnicity and national origin. The committee being recommended will assess and recommend targeted actions meant to resolve the concerns regarding the full scope of diversity issues at SSU.

Approved by the Senate