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Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Diversity Strategic Plan (DSP) serves as a roadmap to continue to address, strengthen and advance equity, diversity and inclusion within the campus community. The DSP was crafted by the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council (DEIC), a university-wide council established in the spring of 2020, comprising nearly 80 staff, faculty, students, alumni and community leaders.
The DEIC is charged with examining diversity, inclusion, and equity issues at MSU Denver cross-functionally, with respect to policy and practice from multiple perspectives. The DEIC works collaboratively with MSU Denver campus constituents, broader community members, and additional stakeholders, as appropriate, to engage in strategic and action-oriented conversations.
This summary provides an overview of the efforts the council and its sub-committees undertook. The DEIC is committed to embodying diversity and mending internal and external inequities through community mending and engagement. The DEIC prioritizes diversifying the faculty, staff and student body, utilizing data-driven recruitment, retention and success strategies. The DEIC values professional development and campus climate cultivation and leans on our anchor mission and modified open access institutional identity, cultivating partnerships and relationships with surrounding communities the University serves.
Part of DEIC’s charge included the development and implementation of the institution’s Diversity Strategic Plan, including reviewing existing efforts aimed at enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion in representation and practice, developing goals and objectives under the auspice of the University’s strategic plan Pillar 4, and working closely with Strategy and Business Intelligence to develop a set of metrics to measure and assure accountability and transparency.
During the spring of 2020, the DEIC established a steering committee and created four sub-committees, each charged with examining different parts of the University within the context of diversity, equity and inclusion, including Access, recruitment and retention; community mending and outreach; HSI servingness, and institutional culture and climate.
The campus climate cultivation committee strives for an inclusive institutional culture aligned with the University’s mission, promoting positive change by aligning institutional goals with equity, diversity and inclusion, addressing policy gaps and utilizing data for evidence-based practices. This committee is also charged with the implementation of our campus climate survey. The HSI Servingness committee examines HSI servingness practices to help improve and strengthen grant processes, the implementation of effective practices and benchmark promising strategies, involving and informing stakeholders, advocating for funding and initiatives, and staying knowledgeable about HSI-related matters. The recruitment, retention and success committee reviews student, staff and faculty data and aims to see how we can continue to strengthen efforts focused on assuring employee and student access through an equity lens. The community mending committee focuses on mending and engagement with a focus on addressing harm caused by the University and society while building partnerships and relationships with specific communities.
The collaborative work of the DEIC has led to the development of goals, strategies and actionable steps. Challenges include navigating legislation and ensuring scope boundaries. Continued collaboration, data-driven decisions and a focus on equity and inclusion are vital for implementing and achieving the plan’s goals. MSU Denver aims to become a national model for diversity and inclusion in higher education.
Between 2020 and spring 2022, the DEIC hosted numerous campus student, faculty and staff forums for campus members to offer voice and input in the process, met with all division and academic branch leadership teams, and engaged deeply with institutional and campus climate survey data. The DSP was presented to the Board of Trustees in March 2022, where the plan was endorsed and formalized.
We intentionally foster and sustain a welcoming and diverse University community that strives for structural diversity and belongingness, and cultivates, nurtures and sustains a culture of inclusive teaching, learning and practice, based on the principles of equity, inclusion, access and anti-racism.
We deliberately develop new relationships, strengthen existing relationships and heal broken relationships. We build mutually beneficial collaborations that promote just transformation and further the educational and civic aims of the University and broader communities.
As a recently designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), we strive to become a national-model HSI, serving as a preferred choice for students and meeting the needs of a growing Latina/o/x student population in Colorado. We provide the resources necessary to develop academic and support services to address issues of access, persistence and success.
Diversify faculty, staff and student body to better reflect the diverse communities we serve and commit to retaining and sustaining diversity among our students, faculty and staff. MSU Denver commits to the recruitment and retention of a diverse and inclusive workforce. We greatly value the diverse and intersectional identities of our faculty, staff and students. We recognize that to achieve equity, diversity must include but also go beyond representation.