Message Sent To:All Faculty, All Staff, All Students
Message From:Message from the Office of the Provost
Date Sent:Monday, October 26, 2020 03:27 PM CDT

Next Steps on Anti-Racism Initiative

October 26, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

It is hard to believe that we’re midway through the fall semester. We want to express our gratitude for all your hard work and continued commitment to the Loyola University Chicago community. As we continue to advance the goals and strategies outlined in our Anti-Racism Initiative, we’re writing to discuss some of the next steps. We would like to ask for your input as we proceed with our planning and implementation.

In June 2020, we sent a message to the Loyola community to announce a new Anti-Racism Initiative (“Our Road to Racial Justice”). This Initiative was comprised of three different yet interrelated goals:

  1. Creating a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for students, staff, and faculty of color; enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic affairs; facilitating Black student, staff, and faculty success
  2. Establishing the Institute for Racial Justice—the first of its kind at a Jesuit, Catholic university
  3. Improving the cultural climate for all faculty, particularly faculty of color; providing robust opportunities for professional development and social connection through the Center for Faculty Development and Scholarly Excellence; diversifying the faculty body

These goals are led by Robyn Mallett, associate provost for academic programs and planning/chair of the Anti-Racism Initiative, Malik Henfield, dean of the School of Education, and Badia Ahad, vice provost for faculty affairs, respectively. Since that initial announcement, we have made significant progress in each area. And we have now reached an important stage in these endeavors. Your feedback is thus crucial for the advancement of these goals.

In the next few months, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness will be sending the following to the University community:

  1. Faculty Climate Survey – This survey is designed to gain a deep understanding of faculty experiences at Loyola. Data from this survey will guide decisions about how and where to allocate institutional resources, and about the development of programs, practices, and policies that will lead to greater faculty satisfaction. In addition, the data will also serve as a benchmark from which to measure progress on faculty-related initiatives. We expect to circulate this survey in early to mid-November.
  2. Institute survey – Throughout the fall, we’ve held a series of focus groups with faculty, staff, students, and external stakeholders on the Institute of Racial Justice. We’re now ready to distribute a survey to increase understanding of the types of community engagement, research, and teaching activities the Institute will undertake. The data will inform the strategic planning process.
  3. Racial Justice Examen – By the end of the fall term, we will share a report based on data that the deans collected this summer to provide an overview of existing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across academic units. In early November, academic units will receive the materials for a Racial Justice Examen. Units will then complete the Examen by engaging in dialogue during the spring of 2021. Results of the Racial Justice Examen will be used to inform the future of how each academic unit will perform planning related to racial justice. This planning will occur in the fall of 2021.

We know that you are tired and overwhelmed, and that providing information about this topic can be draining. We get it. However, it will be difficult to create meaningful and sustainable change with this important work without your valuable input and insight. Exciting and long-standing institutional changes are ahead, and we want to ensure that these forthcoming changes center your voices. We are committed to a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive Loyola, and we thank you in advance for taking the time and effort to respond thoughtfully to the forthcoming surveys.

Norberto Grzywacz
Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Badia Ahad
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Malik Henfield
Dean, School of Education

Robyn Mallett
Associate Provost of Academic Programs and Planning/Chair of the Anti-Racism Initiative