President’s Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Issues Findings and Recommendations Report

In her June 10 Maine Memo, President Joan Ferrini-Mundy committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism, and outlined a series of actions the university would take to enact that commitment. One such action was the establishment of the President’s Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), which includes thirty-three faculty, staff, students and alumni from the University of Maine and the University of Maine at Machias. The council is co-chaired by Kimberly Whitehead, Vice President and Chief of Staff, and Susan McKay, Director of the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education and Professor of Physics.

The co-chairpersons are very pleased to release the Findings and Recommendations Report, the culmination of significant work, including three months of focused meetings and meaningful discussion, research and engagement with campus and University of Maine System (UMS) stakeholders.

The Findings and Recommendations Report highlights forty-five recommendations to address structural impediments to DEI in our organization. It also presents data that inform current and future DEI work. An overarching recommendation in the report is the establishment of an Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to provide leadership in this area, and to coordinate programs, policies and practices across our campuses and with the UMS.

The recommendations are a first step, “the initial contribution of a Council that envisions its work as ongoing, comprehensive, educative and reflective. Most important are that these initial recommendations lead to action plans and that those plans are implemented in sustainable ways. Action plans should include a process for ongoing evaluation and improvement, with responsibilities and resources for the work clearly identified,” notes the council’s report.

The council welcomes feedback about the report and will be providing information about opportunities for community discussion in the coming weeks. Please submit your comments and feedback here.