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October 24, 2011- Diversity and Educational Equity

October 24, 2011
Diversity and Educational Equity

After an extensive nationwide search earlier this year, the University was fortunate to hire Derrick Crawford in April as our first Associate Vice President for Diversity, Educational Equity & Ombudsperson.  As you know, I have always been committed to diversity at Cal State San Marcos and to ensuring that we are a welcoming campus to all. I felt, however, that there was an opportunity for us to do better, to serve as a model institution of tolerance and inclusion, so I created the AVP position.

Derrick and I are working closely on developing strategies for moving diversity and educational equity at CSUSM forward. We are having candid conversations and creating a comprehensive program to address best practices in these areas. I have asked that Derrick present me with his final plan in spring 2012. Included in this plan will also be Derrick’s responsibilities as ombudsperson, a newly created role at CSUSM designed to provide a fair and impartial ear to students and staff with pressing issues or concerns. I encourage you to share any suggestions you may have with Derrick on the direction diversity, educational equity and ombudsperson efforts at CSUSM should take.  Derrick will also be reaching out to students, staff, faculty, and the larger community to hear your thoughts.

Additionally, Derrick and I are assessing the Social Justice and Equity Project (SJEP), an initiative that I have felt strongly about since its inception in 2008. In order to determine how best for SJEP to be administered, the project has been put on hiatus for 2012 so that Derrick may have sufficient time to evaluate the project and incorporate it into the University’s strategic plan for diversity and education equity. Although the SJEP will not be held in 2012, the funding that was previously allocated for this initiative will still be available to support faculty research and programs.  Any faculty member interested in funding to support diversity, educational equity, and social justice initiatives should contact Derrick. 

I am delighted to have Derrick on campus. His presence will have a profound impact on our University community, and I hope that you will have a chance to meet and speak with him at the diversity forum to be held in early spring 2012. Details will be announced soon. In the meantime, please contact Derrick with any diversity, educational equity, and social justice related issues. I’m sure that you will find him warm, welcoming, and engaging crawford@csusm.edu.