While there has been a longstanding commitment to diversity, educational equity and social justice at CSUSM, what was lacking was a coherent, unified strategy and vision for diversity, educational equity and social justice. The creation of a chief diversity officer position allows CSUSM to continue its leadership role in moving forward issues of diversity, educational equity, and social justice not only within the CSU system, but also in North County as well. A point of particular emphasis in understanding this new role, is to recognize that the chief diversity officer does not "own" diversity, educational equity or social justice. The chief diversity officer serves as the principal advisor to President Neufeldt, the executive council, other CSUSM leaders and the CSUSM community. The chief diversity officer also serves as the "chief strategist" on diversity issues, having principal responsibility for providing leadership on a daily basis in this area. Ownership of diversity, educational equity and social justice is a shared responsibility that every member of the CSUSM community must be actively engaged in for success to be achieved.
Developing a Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence enables CSUSM to be forward thinking in addressing issues of diversity, educational equity and social justice. A Strategic Plan for Diversity and Educational Equity enables CSUSM to develop a comprehensive strategy and vision for diversity and educational equity resulting in the most effective utilization of resources and talent to meet the growing needs of a diverse university community and region.