Task Force Memos & Reports

Memo: Task Force Update & Community Input on Draft Final Report (9/22/2017)


Date: September 22, 2017

To: MICA Community

From: Co-chairs of Presidential Task Force on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Globalization

  • Samuel Hoi, President
  • Clyde Johnson, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Intercultural Development
  • Colette Veasey-Cullors, Chair, Photography Department

Re: Task Force Update & Community Input on Draft Final Report

Dear faculty, staff, students, and trustees,

The 2015-2017 Presidential Task Force on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Globalization (Task Force) is concluding its two-year effort to understand and plan how best to integrate diversity, equity, inclusion and globalization (DEIG) at MICA. The Task Force's final report will offer, as promised in the College's February 26, 2015 Public Response to the Black Students Union Open Letter, "a college-wide, multi-year plan to achieve a more equitable, diverse, and reflective place of learning at MICA."

All relevant prior campus communications, including the Task Force's committee reports, can be found on the DEIG Integration at MICA site.

Please mark your calendar for a pan-college convening scheduled from 2:30 to 4:00 pm on Wednesday, October 18, 2017. At this convening, after a summary of the draft Task Force Report is shared with the campus community, discussion groups will be conducted to gather everyone's feedback to the report and ideas of what success would look like once DEIG is fully embraced at MICA.

The draft of the Task Force report will be made available online immediately after the pan-college convening. For the following three-week period, campus members will be invited to provide feedback on the draft report before it is finalized. In November, the Task Force will review collected community feedback, consider final revisions to the Task Force report, and endorse a final report. The finalized Task Force Report will be shared no later than January 2018.

A DEIG Integration Accountability Monitoring Group (AMG), with broad representation of leaders from various college constituency groups, will be planned in Fall 2017 and appointed to begin its work in Spring 2018. The AMG will act as an internal auditor to monitor and ensure MICA's DEIG progress.

In the meantime, efforts that have been put in motion by the Task Force since its inception will continue with strong momentum on campus. MICA is taking a bold and fundamental approach to DEIG integration at the College, starting from incorporating a clear and fundamental grounding of DEIG principles into our new Mission, Vision, Tenets, and philosophy that were recently announced. Guided by the new Mission and Vision, there will be a set of time-phased commitments to achieve short- and mid-range change towards comprehensive DEIG integration. The long-range goals will be incorporated into the upcoming 2020-2026 Strategic Plan.

This Fall 2017, the most visible DEIG initiatives on campus include: 1) The Office of Diversity and Intercultural Development, with a new name and mission to broaden its scope and impact, will move into a central location and larger office in Fox Building, allowing for better services to students and the campus; and 2) The Office of Community Engagement will be re-launched as a new center focusing on "creativity and the common good," which will support faculty, students, and communities at large in understanding and exercising creative citizenship and social justice principles in a diverse and changing world. In so doing, this new center will foster an active and engaged approach to change for further equity, inclusion, and common good in Baltimore. These two offices will be co-located in Fox Building to encourage their collaboration and integrated support for students, faculty, and staff.

Changes are beginning in the classroom. Reforms to the First Year Experience (formerly Foundation) program integrate contemporary curriculum on race and identity. New courses are being developed, such as a Spring 2018 research-based class that will explore the history of marginalization and racism in Maryland, as well as within MICA's nearly 200-year history. While MICA takes the necessary time to diversify our faculty and curricular offerings, this academic year brings a series of notable DEIG role models and mentors to campus, beginning with such visitors as Xu Bing, Mel Chin, and Van Jones.

The behind-the-scenes work is just as important. Our Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be updated to reflect DEIG goals. Faculty Learning Circles will launch in Spring 2018 with a DEIG theme. A series of reforms are being applied to the recruitment, retention and leadership development of faculty and staff. For example, mandatory implicit bias training for faculty search committee members, which began in 2015, will be expanded to include administrative searches. All senior staff and trustees will be trained this academic year as well. New faculty recruitment pipelines that have been successfully developed over the past two years will be expanded for next year.

Our DEIG work is critical and central to our purpose as an institution. Via a positive and inclusive shift in campus culture and a structuralization of policies and practices in the context of our educational mission, we seek to deploy DEIG as a catalyst for creativity, educational excellence, and responsible engagement.

We look forward to sharing with you more fully the content of the draft Task Force report on October 18. Please come to the convening that day and provide your feedback during the campus review period afterward. Together, we will finalize a defined roadmap for DEIG integration at MICA that advances the College's and our collective growth.