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Office of Equity and Inclusion

The mission of the St. John’s University Equity and Inclusion Council (the “Council”) aligns with our University’s mission and core values: to promote an academically enriching and supportive climate that allows all members of our community to thrive and succeed. The Council recommends institutional policy and practice changes needed to create an equitable and inclusive learning and working environment. 

We aspire to become the national model of inclusive excellence.

Report Bias

Reporting to the Chief Diversity Officer, the Office of Equity and Inclusion encompasses the Equity and Inclusion Council, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Inclusivity Resource Center, Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion, and RESPECT.

University Inclusivity Statement

A dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion is at the heart of our mission. As a Catholic and Vincentian university, St. John’s is committed to institutionalizing practices of inclusive excellence to ensure that we welcome and celebrate the intrinsic worth of all members of our community.

We will become an even stronger University as we enhance equity at every level of our institution. As noted in our Vision Statement, our graduates will excel in the competencies and values required for leadership and service in a rapidly evolving world.

Equity and Inclusion Council

The Equity and Inclusion Council is the result of a merger of the Task Force for Diversity and Inclusion and the President’s Multicultural Advisory Committee. The Council’s charges are the same as those given to the Task Force: (i) ensure that the training for staff and administrators and the professional development opportunities for faculty are sufficiently robust in the areas of diversity and inclusion, (ii) recruit and retain faculty, administrators, and staff from historically underrepresented groups, (iii) advocate for diversity and inclusion to be embedded in curricula, working closely with the University Core Curriculum Committee (UCCC) and with relevant department/college curriculum committees for major course of study curricula, and (iv) foster a more inclusive campus climate. The Council is co-chaired by Nada M. Llewellyn, Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Chief Diversity Officer, and Deputy General Counsel; and Manouchkathe Cassagnol, Pharm.D., Associate Clinical Professor, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Please click here for additional information on the council.  

Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA)

Now located within the Department of Equity and Inclusion, the OMA will launch a new student intergroup dialogue program and offer student identity-based support and discussion groups this Fall. OMA will continue to run the following critically important programs: Diversity Peer Educators, Project AIM and the Asian Alliance. Please click here for additional information on the OMA. 

Inclusivity Resource Center

The Inclusivity Resource Center (IRC) was created to provide students with resources to assist in authentic and informed peer dialogue on topics of equity and inclusion. The IRC will provide social justice training for students, host equity and inclusion themed workshops, and through a collaboration with the Center for Counseling and Consultation, offer the services of a mental health counselor for both individual counseling and group programming. The Office of Multicultural Affairs’ student programming opportunities will also operate out of the IRC.  

Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion (ACEI)

Dr. Cassagnol is the Director of the ACEI, which reports to the Vice Provost for Academic Support Services.  The ACEI also has dotted line reporting to the Department of Equity and Inclusion. More information about the ACEI can be found here.

Respond and Partner to Engage our Community Team (RESPECT)

RESPECT is the University’s bias response team.  It comprises students, faculty, staff, and administrators who voluntarily serve to provide direct support to any individual impacted by prejudice-based aggression.  This may include providing assistance with reporting bias, guidance through the investigative process, and access to safety and support resources.  When appropriate, it may also include facilitating restorative conversations between affected parties to promote healing and learning outcomes.

HR Specialists

Within the Office of Human Resources, the following positions play a key role in pushing forward the University’s inclusivity initiatives:

  • Keaton Wong, Director of Equal Opportunity, Compliance and Title IX Coordinator, oversees all bias complaints. For additional information, please click here.
  • Diane Neofytidis, Director, Recruitment, implements changes consistent with best practice to support the recruitment of faculty, staff and administrators from historically underrepresented groups. For additional information, please click here.
  • Eileen Caufield, Associate Director, Training and Development, manages the University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Certificate Program. For additional information about the initial cohort, please click here.

Updates

We are happy to announce an upcoming workshop on September 24–25, “Search Committee Methods and Minority Recruitment Techniques,” presented by Christopher D. Lee, Ph.D., SPHR.

Dr. Lee is a leading authority on the search process. His first book, Search Committees, earned the 2001 Kathryn Hansen publication award from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. Since that time, he has provided search committee training to more than 1,000 human resource professionals and he has consulted with dozens of colleges and universities on the search process. His most recent publication is Search Committees: A Comprehensive Guide to Successful Faculty, Staff, and Administrative Searches.  

He is the founder of www.SearchCommittees.com, a website that is an online repository of hundreds of resources and training materials on the search committee process designed to train and empower search committees. Additionally, Dr. Lee is a former question writer for the PHR (Professional in Human Resources) and SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) examinations administered by the Human Resources Certification Institute, and the author of numerous human resources-related articles and chapters, and three books.

Workshop Description 

Every faculty search can be rigorous, thorough, fair, and successful if the proper techniques and approaches are followed. Learn research-based methods that have proven to be effective in recruiting and selecting a diverse array of talent. While many colleges and universities have not been as successful as they would like to be in hiring minority faculty and staff, many others have achieved better outcomes by following tried-and-true methods. There are a number of policies, procedures, and practices that both improve the search process and increase the likelihood that your recruitment pools are more diverse. Discover the diversity advantage that supports the educational mission of our institutions. When relevant objective, meritocratic, and fairness principles are incorporated into the selection process, it actually increases both the rigor and professionalism of the search committee process.

Please register for one of the workshops below based upon the date, time, and campus location that works best for you. The presentation will be live in Queens with video-conference to both Staten Island and Manhattan.

  • Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting, Monday, September 24, 2018, Queens Campus, 10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. 
  • Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting, Monday, September 24, 2018, Staten Island Campus, 10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. 
  • Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting, Monday, September 24, 2018, Manhattan Campus, 10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. 
  • Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting, Monday, September 24, 2018, Queens Campus, 3–4:30 p.m. 
  • Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting, Monday, September 24, 2018, Staten Island Campus, 3–4:30 p.m. 
  • Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting, Monday, September 24, 2018, Manhattan Campus, 3–4:30 p.m. 
  • Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting, Tuesday, September 25, 2018, Queens Campus, 10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. 
  • Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting, Tuesday, September 25, 2018, Staten Island Campus, 10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. 
  • Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting, Tuesday, September 25, 2018, Manhattan Campus, 10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. 
  • Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting, Tuesday, September 25, 2018, Queens Campus, 3–4:30 p.m. 
  • Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting, Tuesday, September 25, 2018, Staten Island Campus, 3–4:30 p.m. 
  • Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting, Tuesday, September 25, 2018, Manhattan Campus, 3–4:30 p.m.

To register on UIS, please use the following directions:

Enrollment 
To register for a training program:  

  1. Log in to UIS via MySJU
  2. Click on the SPOTLIGHT tab
  3. Click on "Access UIS"
  4. Click on “Employee”
  5. Click on "Employee Workshops"
  6. Click on "HR Employee Training"

To register for a program: The system allows you to register for one class at a time. Select the date and campus you would like to attend, scroll to the bottom of the page, click your employee designation, and submit. You will receive an automatic confirmation.    

To confirm that you are enrolled, scroll to the top of the UIS page and you will see a list of programs for which you are enrolled. If you wish to withdraw from a program, you may do so on UIS up to seven days prior to the program. Within seven days, contact [email protected]; 718-990-2330. 

To check your training profile: Click on Training Profile (located on UIS at the top right of the page in blue text.)

To see a calendar view of all of our programs: Click on Calendar (located on UIS at the top right of the page in blue text.)

For assistance with registration, please contact Lisa J. Goldrick, Training and Development Assistant, at 718-990-2330.

As the semester winds down, we write to update you on recent initiatives undertaken by the Task Force for Diversity and Inclusion. In our earlier communication, we updated the community on the Task Force's initial recommendations. While we continue to move forward with those initiatives (status updates on several of them are set forth below), we wanted to inform you of additional measures the University has implemented during the last two months.

In Progress:

Public Safety Department Review

  • The University has engaged an external consultant to (i) review the Department of Public Safety's policies, practices, and procedures to identify barriers to a more inclusive department culture and approach to interacting with our students and employees, and (ii) provide recommendations on how to most effectively and efficiently remove such barriers.

Bias Reporting

  • The University has retained additional investigators on a temporary basis to assist with bias investigations. The University has also engaged a consultant to audit the bias complaint processes for both students and employees, identify any gaps that may exist, and provide recommendations on how we can improve and streamline the complainant experience.

Climate Surveys

  • In collaboration with St. John's Division of Student Affairs and the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at the University of California, Los Angeles, the student campus climate survey was launched on April 9. If you have not already done so, we encourage all students to respond.
  • In collaboration with an external consultant, preliminary phases of a faculty climate survey have been completed. The full survey is in development and will be launched by the end of the month.

Mental Health

  • A Center for Counseling and Consultation staffing analysis was conducted. As a result, the University has approved an expansion plan to better support student needs in this area.

Student Subcommittee

  • All students were invited to apply to serve on the Task Force's Student Subcommittee. Members of the Student Subcommittee will vet Task Force recommendations, partner with University student organizations in the development of inclusivity programming and educational opportunities, and work as a team to formulate and present student-centered recommendations to the Task Force. The interview and selection process will be completed by April 30.

Upcoming:

Public Safety Training

  • The University has engaged an external consultant to provide three days of training for the Department of Public Safety. This training will take place in May.

DEI Lecture Series

  • The Task Force will co-sponsor the Ninth Annual Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Multidisciplinary Conference on Immigration, "The Rise of Transnational Populism: A Multidisciplinary Approach," on May 2-3, 2018.

Use of Preferred Name

  • For fall 2018, the University will institute a process by which students can use their preferred name for their e-mail, class rosters, and StormCards. Additional information on this initiative will be shared in a future communication.

Center Openings

  • Both the Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion and the Inclusivity Resource Center are scheduled to open in fall 2018. Additional information on the center openings will be provided in future communications.

Best Practices in Faculty Recruiting Workshop

  • Early in fall 2018, an external consultant will provide Personnel and Budget Committee members with a workshop on faculty recruiting best practices.

Completed:

Implicit Bias Training for Personnel and Budget Committee Members

  • In March, implicit bias training was conducted for Personnel and Budget Committee members.

Communication of Efforts

  • The University created a web presence for the Task Force which can be viewed at stjohns.edu/diversity-and-inclusion. The initial recommendations can be seen there, and we will continue to update the site with additional content.
  • The Task Force chairs delivered multiple presentations to the University community on the charges of the Task Force, its initial recommendations, and progress to date.

DEI Lecture Series

The Task Force co-sponsored a talk on March 5 with author Jeanne Theoharis, Ph.D. and the 13th Annual Caribbean Speaker Series, featuring award-winning Puerto Rican writer Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro, on March 12.

Together with the Office of the Provost, Division of Student Affairs, Office of Mission, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, and Campus Ministry, the Task Force supported the screening of the movie Sacred on April 9.

We will continue to provide periodic updates on the Task Force's progress. We wish all a successful end to the semester.