UM releases Sensitivity and Respect Committee report

Posted on Oct 8 2013 - 3:22pm by Lacey Russell
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Chancellor Dr. Dan Jones speaks during a reception for LGBTQ month at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. (DM Photo/Phillip Waller)

Chancellor Dr. Dan Jones speaks during a reception for LGBTQ month at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. (DM Photo/Phillip Waller)

By Adam Ganucheau

The University of Mississippi Sensitivity and Respect Committee released a report Tuesday afternoon that was drafted after Chancellor Dan Jones charged the committee to study race relations on campus and make recommendations to improve its racial climate. The charge was given following the election night incident on Nov. 6, 2012.

“The committee did not attempt to order the recommendations in terms of importance or ease of implementation; nor was there any effort made to omit or include a recommendation based on financial implications, complexity of implementation or popularity,” the report stated.

Among the committee’s specific recommendations:

• Develop and plainly display a clear message that explains our institutional commitment to diversity.

• Evaluate current administrative structure and increase resources to support diversity efforts.

• Create a culture of research excellence related to race.

• Enhance our communications and marketing strategies to ensure that race and inclusiveness are a central part of our messages.

• Better prepare our faculty and staff to respond to and address incidents of bias.

• Conduct a review of all of our divisive symbols.

• Adopt a comprehensive, holistic diversity plan with strategies tied to measurable goals.

• Incorporate an emphasis on racial climate and diversity into all aspects of university planning and assessment.

• Provide an ongoing assessment of campus climate.

• Engage diverse, prospective students earlier (with an emphasis on Mississippians), and aid in their transition to UM.

• Initiate a new student program (or enhance our current offerings) to more intentionally educate students about our commitment to inclusion and reinforce our shared values.

• Further explore how we engage diverse alumni (Diverse Alumni Relations).

The entire report can be found here.