Diversity Task Force Announcement from President Ann Weaver Hart
I am very pleased to announce the formation of a broad-based University task force charged with the goal of helping all of us build a campus environment that values diversity and inclusion as core tenets of what it means to be a Wildcat.
The task force will be chaired by Javier Duran, professor of Spanish and border studies and director of the UA Confluence Center for Creative Inquiry; Bryan Carter, associate professor of Africana studies; and Tannya Gaxiola, UA assistant vice president for community relations and chair of the UA Diversity Coordinating Council. With their broad range of expertise and experience, they are extremely well qualified to lead a collaborative process to implement change here at the UA.
The task force must be as comprehensive as possible and include voices and perspectives from the many in the campus community. With this in mind, I have invited several groups to name designees to serve on the task force. These groups include the Faculty Senate, appointed professionals, classified staff, diversity councils, diverse alumni associations and clubs, faith groups, ASUA, GPSC, each of the student groups who stepped forward to raise the issues of diversity and inclusion on campus, and several more.
It will be the work of University staff, faculty, and students to implement the recommended actions coming from the task force and to report the results of those activities back to the campus community. I want to be very clear that their perspectives and experiences are absolutely vital to this process, but that the students with whom I have met should not be seen as responsible for designing the UA’s response, nor should the burden of our response rest on their shoulders when they are working to be successful in their studies.
We also will be reaffirming the UA’s commitment to a diverse community by ensuring diversity and inclusion are prominent in all four pillars of Never Settle, the UA’s strategic plan. Diversity is a core value for the UA and will be made prominent in our plans.
Our goal is to unify the University of Arizona and to work together to become a more inclusive, diverse and safe community, and I envision that others will be involved as the task force moves forward with its work.