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Commission on Diversity and Inclusion


May 13, 2016 ~ 8:30 a.m.

UNF Student Union, West ~ Room 3804



Members in Attendance

Edythe Abdullah, Cheresa Boston, Nancy Broner, Lucy Croft, Alison Cruess, Mark Dawkins, Probyn Inniss, Chris Janson, Sucheta Pyakuryal, Oupa Seane, Tom Serwatka, JeffriAnne Wilder, Cheryl Gonzalez, Tarah Trueblood 

Members Absent

Chris Brown, Luciana Carvalhal Braga, Bella Genta, Glenda Kelsey, Tru Leverette, Daniel Moon, John Whalen, Zhiping Yu  

Item 1 Welcome

Chair Abdullah welcomed members to the retreat and introduced Ms. Julia Burns, principal, Converse Consulting, as the facilitator.  

Item 2 Cultural Competencies Pursuit 101

Kaitlin Legg, assistant director, LGBT Resource Center; Brandi Winfrey, coordinator, Women’s Center; and Dei Allard, associate director, Housing and Residence Life, presented the Cultural Competencies Pursuit 101 course to commission members. All who participated saw relevance and felt there would be support across campus for a cultural competencies initiative.  

Item 3 CODI, Current State and Constraints

The commission discussed the current state of CODI, based on the Theory of Change document provided in the meeting materials. The discussion also included information on membership, resources and staffing, going forward.   

Item 4 Proposed CODI Straw Model

Julia Burns led a discussion on CODI’s proposed role, noting that there should be an increased awareness of the importance and relevance of diversity and inclusion, along with the benefits. The group noted that this awareness should reach across all campus groups and include UNF’s current and historical focus, and demonstrate commitment.

The group discussed ways CODI might provide awareness, including through the Cultural Competence Pursuit curriculum. Julia led a conversation about creating campus-wide events and challenges to make stories available and relevant to faculty, staff and students, to include individual stories and character composites. The commission noted that student perspectives should be front and center.

There was a discussion that CODI should account for diversity and inclusion efforts across campus and bring them together, with consensus that the commission should reflect annually on their efforts. 

Item 5 Given the model discussed, what does the structure need to be?

Julia led a discussion on CODI’s future organization, to include leadership, membership and committee structure. The commission agreed to consider a chair with credible experience in diversity and inclusion. The commission would make a recommendation to the President, who would make the appointment. The commission reached a consensus that committees would be CODI’s working bodies. Their structures would be flexible to allow for change – membership would vary by topic. There was particular emphasis that students should be included as members – undergraduate, graduate and non-traditional students.

A commission member’s profile was discussed and included that (a) he/she would need skill and passion for CODI, (b) would have authority within their own organization/college, (c) would be recommended and accountable by and to their vice president or dean, and (d) would be responsible for their organization’s/ college’s participation in the Cultural Competencies Pursuit training and communication to and from CODI. Again, there was particular emphasis that students should be included as members.

The commission unanimously agreed that the Cultural Competency Pursuit would be CODI’s goal for the upcoming year(s). Collective goals would be set to roll out the curriculum across all campus groups and CODI would monitor and maintain the curriculum’s integrity for multiple facilitators, settings and audiences. CODI would also honor and showcase existing work.

Items 4 and 5 will be discussed again at the next meeting and may be further refined.  

Item 6 Next Steps

Julia clarified that the next steps for CODI would be (a) to work on goals, (b) refine the structure, (c) discuss strengthening the campus community’s awareness of CODI, and (d) to plan the roll-out for the Cultural Competency Pursuit. 

A date to continue was discussed and confirmed for June 30.