The Commission on Diversity and Inclusion fosters a campus environment that welcomes, values, and affirms the contributions of all its members.
The Commission on Diversity and Inclusion at Colorado State University serves as the institutional conscience for inclusive policies, programs, procedures, and services. The Commission is a catalyst for change that enhances the campus climate for all people and removes persistent barriers that inhibit the success of members of our campus community, especially those from underrepresented and historically marginalized populations. In the unending pursuit of Colorado State’s Land Grant mission, the Commission holds the University accountable for promoting inclusion, integrity, respect, service, and social justice, which are the tenets of the Principles of Community.
On Nov. 16, 2015, Colorado State students, staff, and faculty rallied in support of their peers at the University of Missouri who were speaking out against racially motivated violence and discrimination. CSU President Tony Frank joined the march that day, and left with a list of recommendations from the students about how Colorado State could improve its own support of diverse populations.
Since that time, President Frank’s leadership team focused on responding to the ideas and recommendations brought forward by the students. These recommendations — related to institutional planning, hiring, curriculum, athletics, student support, and governance – were in keeping with the university’s commitment to diversity, access and inclusion and served as a touchstone to explore ways the University could do better in improving the climate for racial and ethnic diversity on campus.
The students’ first recommendation was that “The University create a strategic five-year plan for increasing diverse populations and meeting the other recommendations with a select board of diverse students and faculty to vet, maintain, and oversee the process.”
A working group of CSU administrators, faculty and staff organized to address diversity issues across campus (the Council on Strategic Diversity Initiatives, housed in the Office for Inclusive Excellence) had been meeting for several months prior to the students’ rally. In response to the students’ recommendation that the University create a “select board to oversee the process of implementing a strategic plan,” this group was restructured to include a representative from every college; representatives from each campus division; and representatives from employee councils (Administrative Professional Council, Classified Personnel Council, and Faculty Council). Additionally, as per the recommendation, this group expanded to include students, with representatives from ASCSU, Graduate Council, and the President’s Multicultural Student Advisory Committee (PMSAC).
In the spring of 2016, this expanded Diversity Council became the President’s Commission for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI). In 2020, the Commission was housed within the Office of Inclusive Excellence and its name officially shifted to the Commission for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI).
The Commission is charged with:
- Supporting the Vice President for Inclusive Excellence in keeping the President informed and accountable to advance the Commission’s recommendations.
- Representing constituents and soliciting feedback related to the work of the Commission while also acting as advocates for the Commission’s work.
- Demonstrating leadership in recognizing, valuing, and maximizing the benefits of diversity at Colorado State University.
- Encompassing the interests and concerns of the University community, including academic faculty, research professionals, administrative professionals, state classified, and students through representative membership of each unit, division and college.
- Working in a manner transparent and accessible to the University community.
- Working collaboratively with employee councils, students, and other official and ad hoc University organizations in support of a shared vision of inclusion, equity, and access.
- Calling on various units of the University administration for assistance in acquiring information and collecting data to obtain a more complete understanding of issues that impact the Commission’s work.
- Identifying persistent and emerging concerns related to diversity and inclusion and forwarding recommendations and potential solutions to the University administration.
- Utilizing university-wide assessments and statistical analyses to inform recommendations.
- Assisting the University in designing strategies to implement the Commission’s recommendations.